If you’re a habitual in-the-car caller and drive in Maryland at all you’d better pick up a headset before tomorrow’s morning commute. The new law requiring a hands-free device when dialing and driving kicks in tomorrow.
It’s what’s known as a secondary offense, so an officer cannot pull you over and cite you solely for holding your phone to your ear; you need to be doing something else that you can be ticketed for, such as speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign. However, while in theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice this isn’t always the case – get an officer’s attention by violating the law and you may find yourself getting stopped when you wouldn’t have otherwise.
You really should just hold that call till you stop – studies show that your performance behind the wheel is degraded by having that conversation, regardless of using a hands-free device. However if you’re going to take the risk anyway you may as well save yourself the $40 first-offender ticket. Further offenses will cost you $100.