Bridget's Blog


HANG UP AND DRIVE! Hands free or pay the fine!


Hands free or pay the fine!


Talking on the phone while driving your car is dangerous and now it may COST you...if you do it in Maryland! 

New Laws In Effect October 1st, 2013


The cell phone rings just as you pull onto the beltway.  It's the client you have been waiting a call back from, or that bank/negotiator handling your short sale.  What do you do?

It rings again......BUT I just have to answer that phone! 


If you pick it up while driving in Maryland after October 1st, 2013 and a police officer sees you, it is now a primary offense.  That means they don't have to have any other reason to stop you. 


The fine for a first time violation will be $75, 2nd time will cost you $125, 3 or more $175 each...Points will be assessed if the cell phone use contributes to an accident, otherwise, no points, fine only.

You can use hands free devices, though drivers under 18 are not allowed to use them. 


Will you lose the deal or will it wait? 

Will motorists be pulling over on major roadways to answer the phone?  If so, will that cause more accidents than the distracted driving does?  I hope not!

cell phone law october 1, 2013

Will this really mean less accidents?  I hope so!

Hopefully the higher cost of violating the law will deter folks from distracted driving and save lives, cut back on accidents and make the commutes easier.

By the way...ALL occupants in your vehicle have to have seatbelts on too!  The fine for EACH unbelted passenger is $50.

I will be changing my voicemail to say...

Thanks for calling, I am not able to answer right now because I am in a meeting or on the road.  Please know that your call is very important to me and I will respond as soon as I am able. 

If I am driving, not only am I saving you from a lifetime of guilt for causing your favorite loan officer to have an accident, but all money saved on potential traffic violations will continue to be passed on to you and all those you refer! 

Please leave a message with your best contact number and I look forward to returning your call from a safe location.

Remember to buckle up and HANG UP AND DRIVE!!




Warm Regards,

Bridget McGee  Maryland Mortgage Mama  NMLS# 196068  SWBC Mortgage.   410-960-2061 EHO or


If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure! 

If you already own your home, we are happy to provide a no-cost mortgage review to help you to determine if refinancing may be in your best interest.  Please contact me at 410-960-2061.

Comment balloon 30 commentsBridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee • September 30 2013 02:34PM



We have similar laws in Washington State, I think it’s just a good idea

Posted by Adrian Willanger, Profit from my two decades of experience (206 909-7536 about 7 years ago

Bridget, we do not have hands free requirements yet in Colorado but I would think it is just a matter of time.  With the added safety and the number of people who are on their phones it can make an impact in a positive way.

Posted by Kelly Young, Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126 (The Platinum Group Realtors) about 7 years ago

The Cell Phone can increase your "Productive Time" exponentially.   Time formerly wasted while driving across town or across country can now be used to get work done.

Sorry to disagree, Bridget...  but I am happy that Florida doesn't have such a law on the books!

BTW, my Mom lives in Baltimore (Owings Mills).  She doesn't have a Cell Phone 


Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Adrian, I spend a lot of time in my car and a lot of business is done on the phone.  I have been using the speaker since the original hands free law went into effect, but I think it's time for a blue tooth.

Kelly, they seem to start out as a secondary offense (one where they can ticket you for it if stopping you for another reason...just seems to be a way to get it in place before it becomes a primary offense.  Be on the lookout it near you!

Fred, I do a lot of business on the phone during the "wasted time", just need to be sure it's ALL hands free now.  Your mom is only about 15 minutes from me!  As a matter of fact, see my latest post about one of Margaret Rome's listing that is probably very close to her!


Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) about 7 years ago


I'm a cyclist in Southern CA and agree drivers need to put the phone down. CA has similar laws but many drivers still talk on handsets and TEXT! Bluetooth technology has improved greatly so I can be productive while in the car. 

Posted by Troy Huerta, Changing the way Home Buyers BUY! (SRE Technologies) about 7 years ago
We do not have any such laws, but it would be safer for all of us if there were.
Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) about 7 years ago

I think this new law may make people think twice about talking and driving.  Can someone use a hands-free device while driving?

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 7 years ago

I hope the new law works well for you in Maryland.  Here in California, we have had similar laws for awhile now.  However, there still seems to be a percentage of drivers, who ignore them!  They are often a menace on the road!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 7 years ago

We have the same law here in Florida that goes into effect tomorrow.  But then we will have to worry about all those drivers programming their Nav systems etc.!

Posted by Kerry L Klun, Broker/Owner, 321-626-5868 (Palm Realty) about 7 years ago

Bridget, VA is doing something similar.  I think we cannot have any hand held phones while driving, and the fines are similar to yours.  It's a good thing.  I wish I would remember to take my hands free headset with me though. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 7 years ago

Hi Bridget. Fortunately I do not talk on my cell while driving. Fortunately the State of Florida does not tax people in order to change their behavior but then Maryland is different.  I hope others in MD are aware of state law.

Posted by Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker, Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i (Aloha Kai Real Estate) about 7 years ago

This is happening in quite a few places! Overall safer. :)


Love and light,


Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 7 years ago

California was on this law as soon as it passed. I think I got my first ticket one week after the law was enacted! Since then, I've learned my $450 lesson. ~Marisa

Posted by Demarco & Marisa, "The Choice is Clear!" (Remax Kings Realty) about 7 years ago
It's been costing people in CA for some time. Not worth injuring someone!
Posted by CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS, "Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren (California Coastal Estates) about 7 years ago

Bridget, Good reminder to be safe. Blue tooth is quite handy for answering. Now if we could get everyone to put down their iPads and iPods and stop messing with the radio while driving....we may all be safer.

Thanks for posting Owings Mills listing.

Fred, Let us know when you will be in the Baltimore area..might have to do an impromptu AR gathering.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 7 years ago

Well, we have this in California for a while. Even it is a nice fee, people still hold phones in their hands......Maybe they talk less, but they text a lot:( I got an accident when a lady was driving/talking and did not notice my car was totaled. Not nice...

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) about 7 years ago

Hawaii has had a distracted driving law for some time now.  Our fines are higher than yours.

Posted by Sheila Morales, Your Kauai Hawaii Agent (Kauai Property Shop) about 7 years ago

I have been fortunate enough to have blue tooth in my recent cars so always use that. The only issue with it is duting the summer when we have the A/C cranked up as it's over 100 in Dallas and it's tough to hear the other party.

Posted by Nick Walton, Call 469-556-2393 (JP & Associates REALTORS®) about 7 years ago

Human nature will always have people willing to toss the dice law or no law...Always drive defensively

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 7 years ago

It's simple to do and excuses!

Posted by Vanessa Saunders, From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York (Global Property Systems Real Estate) about 7 years ago
Goes right back to drivers Ed ....hands at 10 and 2 o'clock.... Just plain common sense.
Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) about 7 years ago

Bridget, I'm all for this one!  I've been hit twice by drivers yakking on their cell phones.  I think it should be universal.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Troy,  When I trained for a  Sprint Triathlon a couple years ago I did a lot of training on the road. I hugged the edge of the road whenever possible, but there were some scary times.  Be careful out there!

Evelyn, Most likely coming to a community near you!  I LOVE your tag line!!  Modesty be damned!

Joan, They may think twice, or they will just be on the lookout for police!  Yes, hands-free devices are OK unless you are under 18.

Myrl,   I have seen so many near misses and the law has been on the books for a couple years now.  Maybe making it a primary offense will make more folks think twice.

Kerry, My NAV system won't work when the car is in motion.  The one on my phone does though...always try to program before I make a move!



Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) about 7 years ago

Mike, I bought a blue tooth a while back but it never seemed to work right.  I have been using my speaker phone for the majority of my calls lately, not the best, but at least a good solution til I find a good ear piece.

Lana,  We don't call our governor OWE-Malley for nothin'!  Glad you are staying safe in the car.

Laura,  Let's hope so!

Marisa, UGH, $450! That's a hefty fine!  I am guessing that like the red light camera tickets and the electronic speeding tickets, the collection company's will have lots of business!  If they keep furloughing and sequestering, no one will have the money to pay the fines anyway!



Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) about 7 years ago

Lauren,   That's for sure! The problem is that everyone thinks that it won't happen to them!


Margaret, I have never seen anyone messing with an IPad while driving, though I am sure it happens.  I am always amazed by the people reading or putting on makeup!  Talk about distractions!

Wouldn't it be cool to meet Fred and his mom?!  Ahhh, the power of the RAIN!   Glad you like the post about the Owings Mills property, it's my pleasure to help you whenever I can!!

Inna, I am so sorry that you were in an accident, cars can be replaced, you can't! Hope you are not still suffering the accident!

Sheila,  I am sure the fines will continue to increase here!  There is always a grab for more money!

Nick, Technology is amazing and continuing to improve.  Hopefully they will get it right so you can stay cool while you talk!

Richie,  Great advice. Lots of distractions to be aware of...the thought of my daughter learning to drive ever (she's only 8) is scary.

Vanessa, Good philosophy! Straight forward!

David, Most driver's think they are too cool for 10 and 2!  Getting back to the basics is never a bad idea!

Pat, Twice?  Ugh!  Hope you were OK and they got a big fine and learned their lesson!  I wonder how many accidents are a result of cell phones....distractions are plentiful---radio, cd/Ipod changing, eating, drinking, kids...I wonder when they will ban drive thru's?

Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) about 7 years ago

You really put this into practice. Loved your message and I received a call back from you  within minutes.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 7 years ago

Good of  you to post and share for others to see this.  This will be a learning curve in Maryland, and I'm sure some will be caught and fined.  It's actually a pretty smart piece of legislation as a primary offense.  Safer roads for all!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) about 7 years ago

It is really rediculous to drive while texting in any form whether it is a phone, email or GPS. You cannot do two things at once. It will always in one lifetime cause an accident.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) about 7 years ago

anything that diverts attention to driving is horrible. dont do it and be safe a few seconds is not worth losi g your life or anothers

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) about 7 years ago

We have that law here already. And to be honest, it doesn't seem to stop anyone. 

My blue tooth died, I am off to get a new one today. I even dislike using that when driving. 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 7 years ago