Several new laws went into effect in Maryland on October 1, 2014. A couple of those laws will directly impact drivers in Maryland.
The first one is referred to as Jake’s Law and it strengthens the penalties for distracted driving. Anyone who texts or reads messages while driving and causes an accident that kills or seriously injures another will face up to a year in jail plus a $5,000 fine. That will be in addition to any other violations you may get charged with such as involuntary man slaughter or reckless driving.
This law was named after Jake Owen who was killed in a crash in 2011 by a driver who was talking on his cell phone and rear ended the parents’ car, killing the 5 year old boy who was in the back seat. Its aim is to be an extension of the handheld device law that prohibits talking on your cell phone while driving.
No matter how many laws are put into place, there will still be people that think they need to send that last message or make that quick phone call while driving. Check out this powerful public service announcement regarding texting and driving.
The other law concerning drivers in Maryland is an addendum to the Move-Over Law that is already in place. You already know that you must move over or slow down for emergency vehicles on the side of the road. That includes police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, etc. And now you will have to move over for tow trucks as well. This new law in will require all vehicles to move over into the next lane, or simply slow down if there is no lane to move into. It’s normally a common courtesy, but failure to comply will result in a minimum $100 fine or 1 point on your license.
The common denominator between these two new laws is safety. This is another step toward making our roadways safer here in Maryland and maybe even other states will follow our lead. In the event you do get in an accident, trust Preston Automotive Towing to come get your vehicle and one of our three auto body shops to make the repairs at the best price around!