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Researching Statutes – Maryland

Got a ticket for using my cell phone while driving. Going to court tomorrow. First ticket in forever. Never had an accident in over 600,000 miles driven. Clean driving record.

Against my better judgement, I’m not going with an attorney and am just going to plead guilty with an explanation and ask for PBJ citing my new insurance plan that tracks phone usage, my new hands free headset and the fact that I wasn’t holding the phone up to my ear.

But, I would prefer to know the actual law. I just spent about fifteen minutes combing through various websites looking for the various statutes covering use of phone or wireless devices in the car. They don’t make it easy do they. Can find it? Oh well, ignorance is not an excuse. I guess we’ll have to give you a big fine.

My next step is to email the legal library in Towson, Maryland so maybe they will get back to me today. I’m sure if I call the clerk at the courthouse, I’ll be on hold forever and they would just tell me to pay an attorney hundreds of dollars or call the law library.

It would be great if they made the process easier, including actually giving someone a link to the law when they receive a ticket. But, not just then. The laws are changing all the time and I feel the State of Maryland should have the burden of notifying drivers in the mail, directly to the address on their driver’s license, when bills become law.

Did I ever receive any notice from the State of Maryland? No. I guess they figure that giving information to news agencies should be enough. Even if you are connected to news agencies or search online, the information is not typically the exact words in the statute. I guess a bubbly TV reporter interpreting a statute is good enough for the State of Maryland.

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