Fine hike could increase to $500
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.