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Maryland Moves To Increase Penalties For Distracted Driving

Under a new bill working its way through Maryland's legislature, penalties would increase for people who cause accidents because they were using their cell phones behind the wheel.
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Under a new bill working its way through Maryland's legislature, penalties would increase for people who cause accidents because they were using their cell phones behind the wheel.

The Maryland Senate is advancing a measure to increase penalties for distracted driving.

The Senate passed the bill without opposition yesterday. It would apply to people who cause serious accidents while text messaging on hand-held cellphones.

Sen. Roger Manno, of Montgomery County, is sponsoring the measure. It would impose a three-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $5,000 on a driver whose texting on a hand-held phone causes an accident resulting in serious injury or death.

The measure is known as Jake's Law after five-year-old Jake Owen, who was killed in a crash in 2011.

The House of Delegates has passed a separate bill.

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