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April 15, 2014 11:00 AM, EDT

Md. Gov. O’Malley Signs ‘Jake’s Law,’ Boosting Penalty for Distracted Driving

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) signed into law a measure that increases the penalty for drivers who cause injury or death to others in a crash caused by distracted driving.

Previously, drivers paid up to a $1,000 fine, but now the penalty can be up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. The law, signed April 14, takes effect Oct. 1.

The measure is known as Jake’s Law, named after 5-year-old Jake Owen, who died in 2011 after a driver struck the child’s family car from behind while talking on a cell phone.