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New Maryland Vehicle Laws in Effect as of October 2017

hands on a steering wheel

When October 1st rolled around, a number of new laws went into effect in Maryland, including ones that involve vehicle operation and insurance. Some of these are important to note as they can impact your liability in an accident and potentially affect a claim for damages.

Passing to the Right: Use of Shoulder

Effective now, drivers may overtake and pass to the right of another vehicle only if it is safe to do so, if the vehicle does not leave the pavement, and, if:

  • The vehicle being overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
  • On a highway with unobstructed payment that is not blocked by parked vehicles, and it is wide enough for two or more lines of vehicles that are lawfully moving in the same direction as the overtaking automobile; or
  • On a one-way road, if the roadway is free from any obstructions and it is also wide enough for two more lines of moving vehicles.

Driver’s License Required for ATV or Snowmobile on Highway

It is now required that anyone operating an all-terrain vehicle or snowmobile on portions of the highway in Maryland where it is authorized to operate said vehicle must hold a valid driver’s license or be expressly exempted. Also, persons under 16 years of age cannot operate specified vehicles on public property unless accompanied by an adult.

Bicycles, Play Vehicles, and Unicycles in Sidewalks and Crosswalks

Subject to certain provisions of the law, a person now has certain rights and is also subject to certain restrictions applicable to pedestrians while someone is lawfully operating a bicycle, play vehicle, or unicycle on the sidewalk, sidewalk area, or a crosswalk. This applies provided that, at an intersection, the person operating said bicycle, unicycle, or play vehicle, is subject to certain traffic controls, and that a certain provision of law does not apply to the person relating to the operation of bicycles, play vehicles, and unicycles.

Increased Imprisonment for Homicide by Motor Vehicle While Impaired

Penalties are increased from three years to five years imprisonment for homicide by a motor vehicle or vessel for a driver who was under the influence or impaired by a controlled dangerous substance.

Commercial License Suspension for Non-Compliance with Court Order for Child Support

The new law extends the time for commercial license holders to resolve their issues with noncompliance with child support orders. The period of time before a commercial license can be revoked was raised from 60 days to 120 days. This means that Child Support Enforcement Administration may not notify the Motor Vehicle Administration to suspend the individual’s driver’s license until 120 days have passed without payment or resolution.

When to Call a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of another’s negligence and would like to seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Charles County accident attorney. Please contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 today to schedule a consultation.

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