Lawmakers Debate Fining Maryland Drivers $500 for Texting - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lawmakers Debate Fining Maryland Drivers $500 for Texting

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 9:21 AM Updated:
(Photo: WBOC file) (Photo: WBOC file)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- Maryland lawmakers may raise the maximum fine for texting and driving to $500, one of the highest in the country.

Proponents of House Bill 42 say Maryland's tiered fine system is ineffective. The current system sets maximum fines from $75 to $175 depending on the driver's offense count, and bill sponsor Del. Frank S. Turner, D-Howard, says people use their phones despite the fines.

Opponents like House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga, R-Baltimore County, say a costly $500 fine may cause legal problems for those who can't afford it.

The House of Delegates passed the bill last week for the third consecutive year; the Senate shot it down in 2016 and 2017.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will focus on the bill in their Tuesday meeting.

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