Maryland Reckless Driving Laws
Although there are a number of traffic laws and regulations in Maryland, some of the major violations are reckless driving and aggressive driving. They are both covered under Maryland Transportation Code, Title 21 (Vehicle Laws — Rules of the Road), Subtitle 9 (Reckless, Negligent, or Impaired Driving; Fleeing or Eluding Police). Below is a brief overview of the statutory provisions for these traffic crimes. This is not a substitute, however, for the skills and accuracy of a Maryland reckless driving lawyer.
Reckless Driving: Section 21-901.1
A person is guilty of reckless driving in Maryland if the person (1) drives a motor vehicle (2) with blatant or shameless disregard for the safety and health of other people or property, or in a manner that indicates such outrageous disregard for the safety of others or property. Section 21-901.1(a).
This section also covers negligent driving, which is defined as when a driver (1) operates a motor vehicle (2) in an irresponsible or foolhardy manner that (3) puts property and the lives or health of other individuals in danger. Section 21.901.1(b).
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration penalties for these violations is six points on a person’s driving record, which in turn means the driver must enroll in a Driver Improvement Program (DIP). If the driver is a minor then the driver faces a six-month suspension of the minor’s driver’s license or a 12-month suspension for a subsequent offense. Section 21-905(b).
Furthermore, the criminal penalties include a fine of up to $1,000. Section 27-101(g)(3).
Aggressive Driving: Section 21-902
Driving conduct that may be considered “reckless driving” in other jurisdictions is largely covered as aggressive driving in the state of Maryland. A driver is guilty of aggressive driving if the driver commits at least three of the following offenses simultaneously or during a single, continuous period of driving:
- Exceeding a maximum speed limit
- Failure to yield right-of-way
- Following too closely (closer than is reasonable and prudent)
- Driving on a laned roadway outside of a single lane
- Overtaking or passing a vehicle on the right
- Merging immediately in front of a vehicle the driver has just overtaken
- Driving through a red light or otherwise not adhering to traffic light signal
The default penalty for traffic misdemeanors is a fine of up to $500. Section 27-101(a). If the driver is guilty of another traffic violation within 12 hours of being charged with aggressive driving, then the driver may face up to two months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Section 27-101(b)(23).
How a Maryland Traffic Lawyer Can Help
Traffic violations can endanger your driving privileges. Put differently, traffic violations can lead to points on your license which may result in a suspension or revocation. Or, with more serious offenses like reckless or aggressive driving, there may be criminal penalties like fines or, more rarely, jail time. For help in keeping your license, contact a Maryland reckless driving lawyer today.