March 2012 Take Action - Bike Maryland

Take Action Now!

The Maryland Legislative Session is Heating Up!
Please take action now to ask members of the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to OPPOSE SB942 which makes major changes to the recent law that safeguards bikers, pedestrians, vulnerable users and all who use roads and waterways.

Please click here to sign the alert that opposes this bill.

On Tuesday, March 20, the State Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee will hold a hearing to discuss SB942. This bill makes major changes to the wording of the law – Criminally Negligent Manslaughter – by Vehicle or Vessel (Maryland law §2-210).  As a result of this law, people who cause fatalities because they drive in a criminally negligent manner, may face jail time and/or stiffer fines rather than merely paying a few hundred dollars in traffic court. We do NOT want this law to be changed!
SB942 would change the definition of a “vehicle” to exclude a “motor vehicle,” and it mentions a very narrow list of reprehensible acts. This would mean that someone who drives a car, bus, SUV, or truck and takes unjustifiable risks that cause a fatality would pay a few traffic fines through traffic court. This bill also removes a prosecutor’s ability to use good judgment to bring to trial those who have caused a fatality by driving in a criminally negligent way.
Bike Maryland has worked tirelessly for many years as legislators struggled to find the best wording that would close the previous gap in Maryland law. The passage of the bill that enacted Criminally Negligent Manslaughter – by Vehicle or Vessel closed that loophole and gave Marylanders some comfort in knowing that, over time, our roads will be safer because people are being held accountable for egregious, risky driving behaviors. If SB942 passes, there will, again, be a loophole in Maryland law that will let criminally negligent drivers get away with manslaughter. We know that cyclists and pedestrians are most vulnerable to risk taking drivers.

Please click here to sign the alert that opposes this bill.

You will be telling them:
  • Prosecutors need to continue to have the ability to hold drivers accountable for causing the death of another as a result of criminally negligent driving,
  • Drivers who cause fatalities because they take unjustifiable risks when they drive need to be held accountable for their actions and not simply pay a few traffic citations.
  • The public needs to know that there are serious consequences for risk taking behaviors when driving so that Maryland roads will be safer, in the long run.

2012 Bike Maryland Legislative Agenda- We have Passed the 2012 Halfway Mark!

The Maryland General Assembly meets in Annapolis each year for 90 days to act on more than 2300 bills including the State's annual budget. The 430th Session begins January 11, 2012 and adjourns on April 9, 2012.  The 2012 session will end in less than 4 weeks!

Click Here to View:

  • Bills
  • Bike Maryland testimony
  • Hearing dates
  • List of supporting organizations
  • Learn how to contact your legislator
  • Other relevant bill information

Bike Maryland's Legislative Agenda:          

SUPPORT: Distracted Driving Legislation - House Bill 104, Senate Bill 217
The use of a hand-held mobile phone is dangerous to everyone, especially vulnerable users such as bicyclists using the roads. This bill makes using a hand-held mobile phone a primary offense, which allows law officers to stop and cite offenders for that reason alone. Sponsors: Delegate Malone and Delegate Kach and Senator Robey et al.  

SUPPORT: Safe Passing Legislation - House Bill 1397
This bill strengthens the existing passing law by creating an exception to specified prohibitions against driving a vehicle on the left side of the roadway in a no-passing zone for a driver who is making the minimum adjustment necessary under specified circumstances to facilitate the provision of the 3-foot clearance for overtaking and passing a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, or motor scooter going in the same direction. The bill sponsor is Delegate Cardin. The hearing will take place on March 20 at 1pm in the House Environmental Matters Committee Chamber.  Please attend and support strengthening the 3 foot bill! 

OPPOSE: Senator Stone's SB942 which undoes/deconstructs the Manslaughter- Criminal Negligence Bill. Please take action - the take action alert is listed above. This bill was cross filed in the House by Delegate Clippinger - House Bill 1405.  Just last year, the criminal negligence bill became law - please oppose this new bill. Click HERE to take action.
Advocates and legislators working together to pass the criminal negligence bill last year - now it may be undone.
SUPPORT: University Facility Plans - Bicycle Access - House Bill 1278
This bill requires each public institution of higher education to develop by fiscal year 2014 a facility master plan to address bicycle and pedestrian circulation on and near the campus; and requiring the institution to include in the facility master plan measures to incorporate bikeways and pedestrian facilities and to promote biking and walking on the campus. Sponsors: Delegate Cardin (House Bill 1278) and Senator Rosapepe (Senate Bill 977). 
Bike Maryland supports a vibrant transportation fund, and we recognize that the current economic downturn has hit the transportation trust fund hard.  However, we believe that transportation revenues should be increased only if every new dollar is invested more wisely. This includes investing in bicycle and pedestrian access.
OPPOSE: SB111-  license renewal testing requirement change from every 5 to 8 years.

SUPPORT: Bicycle use allowed on sidewalks - House Bill 946.
Legislation to repeal the prohibition of bicycles on sidewalks has been introduced by Delegate Miller. 
SUPPORT: House Bill 1178 that requires the Motor Vehicle Administration to assess 8 points against a person who is convicted of failing to render reasonable assistance after being involved in a vehicle accident that results in death, bodily injury, or damage to an attended vehicle or attended property. Sponsor is Delegate Cardin.

Other items of importance listed here.

Join Bike Maryland by Becoming a Member - We Stand Up For You!


Click HERE to become a member!

Please join the movement and become a Bike Maryland member today to improve bicycling in Maryland.
We represent hundreds of thousands of bicyclists throughout Maryland and actively connect with over 20,000 of them. Bike Maryland depends on your support to continue our work making bicycling a healthy and more sustainable means of transportation and, of course, an all-out fun recreational activity.
Bike Maryland is the nonprofit organization that has been instrumental in improving bicycling conditions and protecting the rights of bicyclists and organizations across Maryland. We are the only organization actively promoting pro-bike legislation on the state level in Maryland. We improve conditions on the county and city level too. Thanks to the support of our members, what we've accomplished and continue to do is truly remarkable

Please view Bike Maryland's accomplishments and BECOME A BIKE MARYLAND MEMBER HERE.

Join today to help increase influence and ensure bicyclists are treated with respect. Become a member and protect your right to bike.

by B' Spokes

Like most people I live a hectic life and who has the time for much exercise? Thanks to xtracycle now I do. By using my bike for daily activities I can get things done and get an hour plus work out in 15 minutes extra of my time, not a bad deal and beats taking the extra time going to the gym. In case you are still having trouble being motivated; the National Center of Disease Control says that inactivity is the #2 killer in the United States just behind smoking. ( ) Get out there and start living life! I can carry home a full shopping cart of groceries, car pool two kids or just get lost in the great outdoors camping for a week. Well I got go, another outing this weekend.
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