Tens of thousands are expected to visit or travel through our state this summer and if you are one of those drivers, or know one headed here from out of state, this list of important traffic laws is an important one to review.
•SEAT BELTS- Drivers, all front seat outboard passengers and all rear seat passengers are required by law to wear seat belts. All occupants under 16 are to be restrained in a seat belt or child safety seat. Children under eight shall be secured in a child safety seat. These violations carry a fine of $83.00. (Transportation Article (TA) 22-412.2d, 22-412.3b)
•MOVE OVER LAW- If you see an emergency vehicle or tow truck operating on the shoulder of a Maryland highway, you must move to an available lane not immediately adjacent to the stopped vehicle if it is safe to do so, or if unable to do so, slow down significantly as you pass. Drivers violating this infraction face a penalty of $110.00 and one point on their driver’s license. A violation involving a collision with injury could cost the driver a fine up to $750.00 and three points. (TA 21-405e1)
•USE OF HAND HELD DEVICES- Use is prohibited while any vehicle is in motion. A hands free or bluetooth device should be used if you must talk while driving. Texting or talking with a device in your hands is strictly prohibited and enforced. The penalty for this violation is a fine of $83.00 for the first offense, $140 for a second offense or $160.00 for a third or subsequent offense. (TA 21-1124.2c1)
•RENTAL AGREEMENT- If you are driving a rental vehicle, your name must appear as an authorized driver of that rental vehicle. Driving a rental vehicle without authorization may result in being issued a traffic citation that requires you to appear for court in Maryland. (TA 18-106b)
•AGGRESSIVE DRIVING- This is a series of driving violations such as speeding, unsafe passing, following too closely, or failing to yield the right of way. This violation is punishable by a fine of $370.00 and five points on your driver’s license. (TA 21-901.2)
•TRAFFIC CRASHES- If you are involved in a minor crash and there are no injuries, please pull your vehicle from the roadway to a safe area. Motorists are required by law to exchange registration and insurance information. Involvement in a vehicle crash and leaving the scene of an injury or property damage crash is considered a serious offense and could result in jail time and up to 12 points on their license. (TA 20-102 a1, a2)
•IMPAIRED DRIVING- Drivers are considered to be impaired with a blood alcohol content of .07 and per se evidence of operating under the influence is a .08 BAC. Violators will be arrested. If convicted, a driver could receive up to a year in jail, up to a $1,000.00 fine or both. (TA 21-902)
•FIREARMS-TRANSPORTING/CARRYING- Maryland does not recognize concealed carry gun permits from outside this state. All firearms must be transported separate from the ammunition and inside a case or lock box. Anyone found in violation of this statute faces arrest. (CR 5-307)
•EMERGENCY SERVICE- If you need emergency police, fire, or medical services, please call 911. If you are on an interstate and witness a traffic crash, an impaired driver, or need routine assistance, safely dial #77 on your cellular phone to be connected to your nearest Maryland State Police barrack.
•ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS- For the latest information, visit www.md511.com, or safely dial 511 on your cellular phone.
WEBSITES TO ASSIST YOU:
The preceding was compiled by Lieutenant Mike Fluharty, Commander of the Hagerstown Barrack, which is located right on I-70, one of our busiest interstates for vacation travelers. He and the 21 other Maryland State Police barrack commanders hope you have a safe and enjoyable visit to Maryland this summer. They also hope whenever you are driving, you make traffic safety a priority.