New motor vehicle safety laws in October

Many Maryland citizens are unaware when laws of the state change and take effect unless it receives extensive media coverage. While the new bills that focus on gun control and sexual harassment prevention were frequently published and televised, there were a number of additions to laws revolving around vehicular safety.

Given how many citizens require criminal defense for motor vehicle accidents, it is crucial to be aware of these changes and how it could impact a potential conviction.

Move over for more

Numerous drivers are familiar with the state’s “Move Over” law, which means that they have to slow down or move to an adjacent lane if there are emergency response vehicles such as police cars or ambulances sitting on the side or have their sirens blasting in their lanes. The law now extends to vehicles that have flashing yellow and amber lights, which includes waste and recycle trucks, service vehicles and utility vehicles. Motorists that fail to do so will receive a misdemeanor charge and a fine between $110-$750 depending on the severity of their actions.

School bus shakeup

Previously, a person that obstructs, hinders or interferes with school bus drivers or public transportation service motorists would be guilty of a misdemeanor and receive a fine up to $1,000, 90 days in jail or both. While the fine limit has not changed, guilty parties can now face up to a one-year sentence if convicted of interfering.

License leniency

The state wants to put drivers on the road faster and benefit driver educations schools, so they decided to pass Senate Bill 424. This new law means that certain adults younger than 25 years of age only need to wait three months with their learner’s permit before they can take a driver’s license exam. The bill does specify that the waiting period is unchanged for those convicted of moving violations.

These new bills will take some time for many Maryland motorists to memorize. Any misunderstanding of these laws could lead to serious charges with excessive fines and prison time. If you end up in trouble because of the new laws, a criminal defense attorney can ensure your rights are protected while educating you on the state’s recent changes.

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