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Md. bill bans reading text messages

A bill that would prohibit drivers from reading text messages is advancing through the Maryland legislature.

The legislation, approved Thursday by a 135 to 2 vote in the House of Delegates, expands a law which bars drivers from writing and sending text messages while their vehicle is in motion or stopped in a traffic lane. The bill was sent to the state Senate.

Sending and receiving text messages is prohibited for drivers in the District and 20 other states, including Virginia. Enforcement of the bans, which have been championed by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, has been challenging because violators are hard to spot, and because they can contend they were dialing a cellphone call rather than texting.

-- Ashley Halsey III

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 11, 2010; 4:09 PM ET
Categories:  Driving , Safety , highways  
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We can still read the newspaper though, right?

Posted by: member5 | March 11, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"We can still read the newspaper though, right?"

As my mother, who teaches English, would say, "You can, but you may not."

Posted by: 1995hoo | March 11, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I send directions to my Blackberry to follow while I'm driving, rather than printing them out. Officially, I'm not reading a text message, but I guess it will be seen as the same thing.

Posted by: CAC2 | March 11, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Putting on makeup is fine. Filing your nails. Putting on nail polish. Eating a three-course meal. Changing your baby's diaper is fine.

Talking on the cellphone is fine if mean cop doesn't catch you. Women don't mind paying the fine. MUST TALK ON THE CELLPHONE 24-7. NOTHING CAN WAIT. EVERYTHING IS A HIGH PRIORITY ISSUE.

Posted by: uncivil | March 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

How will a peace officer know whether I am dialing a number (to use with my headset) or reading/writing a text message?

And when one who is in fact dialing a number is pulled over, what are the odds that a given peace officer will believe the driver that they were dialing?

Posted by: wpjunk | March 11, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Here is a better through, also state in the bill talking on a phone while driving is not allowed unless you are using a hands free device. I can't tell you how many times I am walking down the street and almost get hit by a driver trying to turn with one hand because the other hand is holding a phone.

Posted by: dhlunar | March 12, 2010 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Way to miss the point 1995hoo.

Posted by: member5 | March 12, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

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