Maryland Personal Injury Attorney | Distracted Drivers to Face Harsher PenaltiesAuthor: Portner & Shure
Just last week, Governor Martin O'Malley signed the bill for Jake's Law into the books. The law is named after Jake Owen, a 5-year-old boy from South Baltimore who died after a distracted driver crashed into his family's vehicle in 2011. The law creates harsher penalties and jail time for drivers that cause serious or fatal car accidents while talking or texting on their cell phones. The idea behind the law is to make distracted driving similar to drunk driving. The Owen family was shattered when Jake was killed, but when the distracted driver was only fined $1,000 as a result of the crash, they were livid. At the time of the trial, many jury members did not consider talking or texting on the phone while driving to be reckless behavior. Now, a judge may impose a jail sentence up to one year and a $5,000 fine if a driver causes a serious or fatal accident while texting or talking on the phone. It is essential for all drivers to be careful while driving and to know, now more than ever, to put down the phone.