Ban on reading text messages while driving fails
In the arcane world of the Maryland General Assembly, there's a key distinction between a bill being "done" and a bill being "done-done."
The bill that would have extended last year's ban on texting while driving to reading incoming text messages got done. It was passed by both houses of the legislature. But it never got done-done -- passed in the same form by the House and the Senate. Thus, it failed.
The hang-up came when the Senate added amendments on the final evening of the session and the House would not agree. The differences weren't that great, but the conference committee either couldn't get around to meeting or failed to agree before midnight brough adjournment sine die.
It's a bit ironic that this bill would fail and the much more sweeping ban on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving would pass. Going into the session, the relatively modest extension of last yearr's texting ban would have seemed to be much more likely to pass. But strange things happen in Annapolis on sine die. All it takes to sink a bill that had seemed to be a lock is the adoption of one amendment on the last day.
Unfortunately, we had a mistake in this morning Sun where we mistook done for done-done. We regret the error.