We write simply to remind our friends that today (10/1/09) several new laws take effect in the State of Maryland.

Three of the new laws that may impact our everyday lives are summarized below.

  1. Ban on Texting and Driving: It is now illegal to write or send text messages while driving. This law was passed based on the fact that more than 30 percent of the roughly 95,000 traffic accidents last year resulted from distracted driving according to the State Highway Administration. Maryland joins 18 other states that have already outlawed texting and driving. Violation of the new law is a misdemeanor and is subject to a $500.00 maximum fine. The prohibition does not apply to use of GPS systems or using text messaging to contact 911.
  2. Teen Drivers: Teen drivers must now wait three months longer to get a provisional license (until they are 16 years and 6 months old). Teens also are not eligible for a full license until they are 18 years old.
  3. Speed Cameras: Speed Monitoring Cameras are now permitted across the entire State of Maryland near schools and highway work zones. Fines are $40 for people who go at least 12 miles over the speed limit in those zones. For those of us who live in Montgomery County, MD, we already have speed cameras all over the place.

Trust me when I tell you that they WILL make you slow down.