News & Politics

Montgomery County Motorists Need to Learn Not to Use Their Phones While Driving

Dummy drivers shouldn't text and drive! Photograph via iStock.

Montgomery County Police cleaned up Tuesday morning when they nailed dozens of motorists for using their phones or texting while driving, raking in what will surely be a nice bounty of fines for the department.

The two-hour operation at the intersection of River Road and Goldsboro Road in Bethesda resulted in 31 citations for using a phone without a hands-free device, four for texting while driving, and 17 for driving on the shoulder of the road, along with a few tickets for negligent driving and driving without a license. A handful of lucky bad drivers got off with warnings.

The tickets were issued to drivers who passed an undercover officer posing as a homeless man holding a sign. The sign, WTOP reports, read “I am not homeless. I am a Montgomery County police officer looking for cell phone texting violations.”

If all those dummy drivers had been focusing on the road instead of texting or toying with their phones, they wouldn’t have gotten those tickets. Using a cell phone without a hands-free device in Maryland results in a fine of $40 to $100, and is considered a “primary” offense, meaning cops do not need another reason to pull over a driver who thinks it’s more important to send a text than look at the road.

For people worried about driving in Maryland, here is a simple field guide to the state’s drivers:

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.