New driving and gun laws for Maryland residents starting Oct 1
ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - Judging by ABC7’s observation of cell phone use among drivers on Monday, the police are in for a busy day Tuesday.
October 1 is the day it is no longer allowed to use a handheld cell phone behind the wheel. Police are able to pull anyone over, and Montgomery County Chief Tom Manger says there will be no grace period.
“You can't drive 100 yards without seeing three people on their cell phone," says Manger. "We'll never get from point A to B if we stop everybody, but I'll tell you, we're gonna enforce this law."
Another new law that can net a ticket as a secondary offense is mandatory seat belt use by everybody in a car – and that means the back seat too. Captain Tom Didone helped push that law through after his son Ryan died in the back seat of a car in 2008.
“I learned at the expense of my son that back seat passengers aren't any safer that front seat passengers," says Didone.
Maryland’s new gun law also kicks in on Tuesday. It bans so-called assault weapons and large magazines, in addition to requiring a safety course of fingerprints and $50 for handgun purchases.
The ban has been wildly controversial and is currently being challenged in court, but as for seat belts and cell phones, ABC7 couldn’t find any opponents.
"I keep my Bluetooth on, so it doesn't bother me at all," says Roland Swingon.
"I don't think you should be using it, I agree 100-percent," adds Todd Leonard.