BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A proposal to raise the maximum fine for texting while driving from $175 to $500 is making its way through the Maryland General Assembly.

The end of the session is closing in and bills are dying left and right, but annoyance with drivers on the phone is driving this bill forward.

“I get very disturbed when I’m driving and somebody is weaving and going very slowly, and I pass them and I see that they are texting,” driver Christine Liming said.

Howard County Del. Frank Turner’s bill to raise the cellphone fine got a hearing in the Senate Tuesday.

“People are ignoring the $75 ticket,” Turner said.

The current fines are $75, $125 and $175 for first, second and third offenses, respectively. The new law would give judges the discretion to fine drivers up to $500 dollars.

Supporters of the bill have a message for critics who say this would place a financial burden on people who are ticketed: “Then you tell me how much value a human life is worth,” Turner said.

There are an estimated 30,000 cellphpne violations issued in Maryland each year.

This is the third time the House has passed the bill, but it has yet to make it out of the Senate, where it’s now in committee.

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