Maryland State Police records show tickets for distracted driving offenses have skyrocketed since driving while using a hand-held cellphone became a primary offense in October.
Troopers issued nearly 6,800 electronic tickets for distracted driving offenses in the seven months from October through April. That's well more than the 5,000 electronic tickets they issued for distracted driving in all of 2013.
Electronic tickets are printed by devices in patrol cars that scan a driver's license. The figures don't include handwritten tickets.
Before last October, driving while using a hand-held cellphone was a secondary offense, meaning drivers couldn't be stopped for that reason alone.
Gov. Martin O’Malley recently sign a bill known as “Jake’s Law” to stiffen penalties for drivers who cause serious crashes while talking or texting on a handheld cellphone. The legislation was filed in memory of Jake Owen, a 5-year-old killed in a 2011 crash.