Maryland Hospitals Happy For New Driving Law | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Maryland Hospitals Happy For New Driving Law

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By Matt Bush

In Maryland, hospitals are lauding the newly-enacted state law that bans drivers from talking on a cell phone while driving without a hands-free device.

Drivers can only be cited for talking on the phone if they are pulled over for another offense, such as speeding or reckless driving. Dr. Bob Rothstein is the chairman of the emergency department at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. He says he hopes the law means less business for them.

"The idea of talking on a phone, or even worse, texting, on a phone while you're trying to drive a car, a 2,000 pound weapon, it just makes a lot of sense to eliminate that. We have technology now that if you really need to talk on the phone, it allows you to while you're still paying attention to driving," Rothstein says.

A regional study showed more than 1,300 people died in Maryland over a ten-year period in crashes caused by distracted drivers. Rothstein believes the real number is much higher, because drivers who caused accidents aren't likely to admit they were using their phone.

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