FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Maryland State Police say they’ve issued more than 1,600 citations to people using hand-held phones while driving since a state ban took effect Oct. 1.

The Frederick News-Post reported Thursday that state troopers have issued 1,658 electronic citations for cell phone driving violations. Electronic citations are printed by devices in patrol cars. The figure doesn’t include handwritten tickets.

The law that took effect last month makes talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving a primary offense. That means police can pull over drivers and ticket them solely for talking on hand-held phones behind the wheel.

Previously, drivers talking on hand-held devices could be ticketed only if they had been pulled over for another violation.
Penalties range from $75 for a first offense to $175 for repeat offenses.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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