Vehicle Laws - Right-of-Way - Penalties for Failure to Yield

There is currently a bill being considered in the Maryland General Assembly that would increase the penalties for right-of-way violations. The bill numbers are SB429 for the Senate and HB 1383 for the House of Delegates. This bill covers all vehicles including bicycles.

Under current law, the penalty for violating the right-of-way of another vehicle is $60 and one point against the offenders' license. Even when a right-of-way violation is combined with another charge like negligent driving, the maximum fines and penalties for both charges would be $630 and seven points.

In many accidents of this nature, law enforcement and the courts cannot justify a higher charge that would include more severe penalties and the violators are given only minimal fines and penalties. This bill seeks to give the courts the tools they need to penalize violators appropriately when serious injury or death occurs.

Establishing that, if a person is convicted of failing to yield the right-of-way in violation of specified provisions of law and the violation contributes to an accident that results in bodily injury to another, the person is subject to a $500 fine and a 90-day period of license suspension; establishing a fine of $1,000 and a 180-day period of license suspension if the violation contributes to an accident resulting in the death of another; providing that the penalties are in addition to other penalties provided by law; etc.
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