AAA Mid-Atlantic Support Two Traffic Safety Bills In Md. General Assembly

It opposes on measure to allow lane splitting.


Annapolis, Md (KM) Noah’s Law would be expanded under a bill being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. That requires motorists convicted of drunken driving offenses to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. If that person had been drinking and attempts to start up their car, it won’t start.

Ragina Ali with AAA Mid-Atlantic says this new bill (HB 952 in the House of Delegates and SB 870 in the Senate) would extend this requirement to motorists given probation before judgment for driving under the influence of alcohol, including an offense committed while transporting a minor. She says in many instances, this isn’t the first time this person has been drinking and driving. “Studies tell us that oftentimes offenders have driven countless times  while impaired or under the influence of alcohol before they’re actually apprehended,” says Ali. “And we know that while interlocks are certainly not a panacea, they do have the ability to obviously keep someone whose been drinking from getting behind the wheel and driving.”

Noah’s Law is named after Montgomery County Police Office Noah Leotta, who was struck and killed by a motorist on December 3rd, 2015. At the time, he was working a DUI Special Task Force and was struck while stopping another vehicle.

AAA also supports a drugged driving oral fluid tests (HB 808 in the House of Delegates and SB 309 in the Senate) which would set up a pilot program to examine oral fluid samples taken by some police officers from drivers who may have been using drugs. “Basically, we support any effort to improve the state of knowledge on drug-impaired driving, including drug testing,” says Ali.

She says there’s no word on where   this pilot program will be set up in Maryland if the bill passes.

But AAA is opposed to a bill to adopt guidelines that would allow lane splitting, where a motorcyclist overtakes or passes another vehicle in the same lane as the vehicle being passed. Ali says this practice is currently prohibited in Maryland. “Our research that AAA has conducted in conjunction with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center found that blind spot monitoring systems detected motorcycles on average 26% later than they detected full-size sedans,” she says.

That bill in the House of Delegates is known as HB 920.


By Kevin McManus