Maryland Vehicle Laws You Might Not Know About

Maryland vehicle laws

Each year in Maryland, drivers are subject to changes in the Maryland Transportation Code. While the most significant changes in the laws and procedures might receive some publicity, others may catch drivers unaware. If you carry a Maryland driver’s license or frequently travel through the state for business, these are some relatively new vehicle laws you might not know about.

New Maryland Traffic Laws in Effect as of October 1, 2017

In 2017, some traffic laws went into effect that drivers and other motorists should be aware of, including:

  • Bicycles, unicycles, and play vehicles have the same rights on sidewalks as pedestrians.
  • Obstructions hanging from a rear-view mirror, such as fuzzy dice, are now a secondary traffic offense. This means that a police officer who stops you for a traffic offense can tack on a citation for having an object block your view.
  • Vehicles may pass other vehicles making left turns on the right so long as they don’t leave the pavement.
  • Registered tow trucks responding to service calls may operate in the High Occupancy Lane no matter how many passengers they have, so long as they have prior law enforcement authorization.

New Maryland Traffic Laws in Effect as of October 1, 2018

In 2018, a few important laws took effect, such as:

  • Snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles are allowed on some sections of highways in Allegany County so long as they travel no faster than 25 miles per hour.
  • The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration can provide copies of birth certificates so long as the drivers have a record with the Maryland Department of Health.
  • Non-airport taxi drivers can’t solicit passengers at the airport. They may do so from parking lots.
  • Parking a disabled, inoperable, or immobilized vehicle on a public street for more than 7 days is prohibited in Washington County.
  • Those with outstanding warrants in the following areas may have their tax refunds intercepted:
    • Washington County
    • Anne Arundel County
    • Baltimore City

Other Laws in Effect as of October 1, 2019

Even more recently, some traffic laws since October 2019 have had a considerable impact on drivers. Some of the most critical changes to watch for include:

  • Ignition Interlock Systems: All IID systems will require cameras to capture still shots to use as proof of violations during breath alcohol detection. Current users do not need to upgrade their devices unless they fail to work, users buy a new car, or they exit and then re-enter the system.
  • Suspended Driver’s Licenses: Under SB237, those convicted of possessing a revoked, suspended, or canceled license will not face jail time. Instead, they will be assessed fewer points. Currently, a penalty carries a potential 2-month sentence and an assessment of up to 12 points. Under the new law, drivers may be fined up to $500 and assessed 3 points.
  • Unspecified Sex on Licenses: Applicants may now leave the “sex” designation on a driver’s license, identification card, or moped operator’s permit as unspecified. The MVA will fill this part of the license with an X.
  • Pedestrian Safety: Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians may face a fine of up to $1,000 — up from $500 — under SB460.
  • DUI: Under HB707, criminal penalties for DUI may increase. If you have prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, your sentence may be longer and you may face more costly fines. 

Contact a Criminal Traffic Attorney Serving Baltimore

Some traffic offenses are crimes that can stay on your record long after you’ve resolved matters with the court. If you’re facing a DUI or license-related criminal charge, you can trust Hillel Traub to compose a proper defense while doing everything possible to protect your driver’s license.

Attorney Hillel Traub of The Law Office of Hillel Traub has extensive experience defending all types of traffic charges throughout Maryland. As a former Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland MVA, he has insider knowledge of the MVA’s inner workings that can greatly benefit your case. Contact our law firm for a free consultation by calling (410) 580-1100 or complete our contact form.