Unfortunately, Maryland is a great state for reckless and negligent motorists. Unless you are drunk or drugged - or actually trying to murder someone - its highly unlikely that you would ever pay more than a $500 fine for killing a person with your car.
The reason for this? Maryland applies a very high (and increasingly unusual) standard of "gross negligence" to cases where a person's reckless driving causes the death of another.
HB 667 would remedy this problem by creating the crime of "Manslaughter by Vehicle". It would give a fine and jail time to someone who causes a death as the result of the person's reckless and negligent driving. This bill would put Maryland in line with over thirty other states that have the same law.
Right now HB 667 has the support of a diverse group including the Maryland States Attorneys Association, AAA Mid Atlantic, and the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland. Still, it could languish in the Judiciary Committee if we don't make our voices heard. So, if you live in the areas represented by the Delegates below, PLEASE send them an email or call their office and tell them to support HB 667. HB 667: <a href="http://mlis.state.md.us/2008RS/bills/hb/hb0667f.pdf">http://mlis.state.md.us/2008RS/bills/hb/hb0667f.pdf</a>
* Joseph F. Vallario, Jr., Dist. 27A, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3488 or firstname.lastname@example.org (Town of Upper Marlboro, Clinton, Rosaryville)
* Benjamin S. Barnes, Dist. 21, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3046 or email@example.com (Laurel, Beltsville, Maryland City)
* Susan C. Lee, Dist. 16, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3649, firstname.lastname@example.org (Bethesda, North Bethesda)
* Gerron S. Levi, Dist. 23A, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3101, email@example.com (Bowie - North of Hanson Hwy., Glenn Dale, South Laurel, Lanham-Seabrook)
* Victor R. Ramirez, Dist. 47, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3340, firstname.lastname@example.org (Cheverly, Colmar Manor, Bladensburg, Mount Rainier, Langley Park)
* Kriselda Valderrama, Dist. 26, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3210, email@example.com (Oxon Hill, Camp Springs, Fort Washington)
* Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher, Dist. 18, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3130, firstname.lastname@example.org (Chevy Chase View, Kensington, Forest Glen, Wheaton-Glenmont)
How to find your legislator: <a href="http://mdelect.net/">http://mdelect.net/</a>