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Md. Adopts Stricter Distracted Driving Penalties

April 15, 2014


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on April 14 signed into law a bill that elevates the penalties for causing a serious crash while texting or talking on a handheld cell phone.

Offenders causing collisions resulting in death or serious injury can face up to a year in jail and a fine of $5,000. The law also requires drivers involved in such serious collisions to give law enforcement officers basic phone information so they can more readily investigate what led to the crash.

The legislation was named “Jake’s Law” in memory of Jake Owen, a five-year-old boy killed by a distracted driver in 2011. 

To watch an NBC Washington Channel 4 news report on the new law, click here.

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