One would stiffen penalties for those convicted of homicide by motor vehicle while impaired.
Towson, Md (KM). Some new motor vehicle laws took affect on October 1st.
One measure would stiffen penalties for motorists who are convicted of homicide by motor vehicle while impaired by drugs. The new law would increase the jail time for those convicted of this offense from three to five years. Also, prison time for repeat offenders would go up from five years to ten years. “Tragically, what we’re seeing is that drugged driving fatalities are becoming and more prevalent on our roadways, and are even eclipsing alcohol-related fatalities,” says Christine Delise, a spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The Governors Highway Safety Association and Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility Study says, in a report released this past spring, that 43% of drivers tested in fatal crashes in 2015 had used a legal or illegal drug, compared to 37% who tested above the legal limit of alcohol.
Another law which took affect on October 1st allows tow truck drivers to travel through HOV lanes while answering calls for service. They would need prior approval from the State Police. With the exception of buses, motorcycles and plug-in electrical vehicles, the previous law didn’t allow vehicles with less than one passenger to use HOV lanes.
“Another law that just took affect now involves waste and recycling collection vehicles to be equipped with or display yellow or amber light or signals while they’re in the course of their official duties,” says Delise. This will let other drivers know that the vehicle is moving very slowly and may impede traffic.
By Kevin McManus