This is one of the most important requests Bike Maryland will send during the 2011 General Assembly Session that is about to come to end. Please contact your Senator today to urge HB 363 to be passed out of the Judicial Proceedings Committee - click here to find your Senator. Support HB 363 which will strengthen vehicular manslaughter laws and close existing loopholes.
Please view this TV press conference to learn more: Click HERE.
HB 363 will help ensure that negligent drivers who kill others can be appropriately punished. Maryland’s current vehicular manslaughter statute requires prosecutors to show actual intent to kill, regardless of how irresponsible or reckless their driving may have been. This legislation increases penalties for those who drive in such a negligent manner that it results in a crash that kills someone, or in some cases, many. It is reprehensible that a motorist can drive a vehicle outrageously, and kill someone in the process through his or her own negligence, and then get away merely with a few hundred dollar fine or a traffic ticket. Bike Maryland is advocating once again to pass this important legislation and call attention to Maryland's extremely lenient vehicular manslaughter laws. The loopholes that exist allow those who drive in a criminally negligent manner on Maryland roads and kill innocent people to escape without serious sanctions. HB 363 will at least provide a middle-ground and criminal conviction instead of a simple traffic citation for negligent traffic offenses that result in death. For the sake of the victims and their families, it is the right thing to do and it's the right time to do it!
HB 363 passed in the House Chamber and the bill is now in the hands of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. We have strong support from many members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. However, Bike Maryland, along with other advocates, met with Senator Frosh, Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, who informed us that he does NOT plan to let the bill out of Committee which means that the bill will NOT become law. If you live in Senator Frosh's District (Montgomery County) it is crucial that you please call his office and state that you are a constituent and want him to let this bill out of committee. Senator Frosh - firstname.lastname@example.org; 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3124.
You Can Make A Difference - Please contact your Senator TODAY and ask that they make sure the Judicial Proceedings Committee members vote in favor of HB 363 so the legislation will proceed to the Senate Chamber for a full vote.
The bill hearing will take place this Wednesday, April 6th at 1pm in the Judicial Proceedings Committee Room, 2 East Miller Senate Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD.
The House has passed the bill unanimously, the State’s Attorneys are behind it, as well as dozens of organizations in addition to Bike Maryland such as:
- AAA Mid-Atlantic
- American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE)
- Baltimore Bicycle Club
- Bicycling Advocates of Howard County
- Chiefs of Police
- College Park Area Bicycle Coalition
- Department of Natural Resources
- Environment Maryland
- League of American Bicyclists
- Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
- Montgomery Bicycle Advocates
- Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club
- Prosecutor’s Office
- Sheriffs Association
- Sierra Club Maryland Chapter
- Washington Area Bicycle Association
It is also helpful to contact Senator Miller, President of Senate and urge that he ask Frosh to bring the bill to a vote. 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3700; email@example.com
This is a list of Judicial Committee Senators. Contact your Senator and if they are on the list below it is even more important that you contact them and ask that they support this bill.
• JAMIN B. (JAMIE) RASKIN Democrat, District 20, Montgomery County 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3634; firstname.lastname@example.org
• LISA A. GLADDEN (Vice Chair, JPR) Democrat, District 41, Baltimore City 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3697; email@example.com
• JAMES BROCHIN Democrat, District 42, Baltimore County, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3648; firstname.lastname@example.org
• JENNIE M. FOREHAND Democrat, District 17, Montgomery County 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3134; email@example.com
• JOSEPH M. GETTY Republican, District 5, Baltimore County & Carroll County 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3683; firstname.lastname@example.org
• VICTOR R. RAMIREZ Democrat, District 47, Prince George's County 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3745; email@example.com
• CHRISTOPHER B. SHANK Republican, District 2, Washington County 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3903; firstname.lastname@example.org
• NORMAN R. STONE, JR. Democrat, District 6, Baltimore County 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3587; email@example.com