DONATE BECOME A MEMBER
*
 

2011 Legislative Agenda

Maryland Driver’s Manual Changes – July 2011

Thanks to the efforts of a diverse coalition of regional groups that worked closely with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and State Highway Administration, a revision to the Maryland State Driver’s Manual that addresses sharing the road with bicycles is being issued this Fall (2011). This Manual will serve as the basis for improved driver’s education and new driver’s licensing examination questions. It is hoped that this can serve as a model for other jurisdictions as a means of introducing bicycle safety education into the automobile drivers’ mindset early in their training.

For details please click here.


Thanks to your great work, we won! House Bill 363 - the Manslaughter by Vehicle - Criminal Negligence bill became law on 10-1-11!

Bike Maryland gives thanks to the many dedicated and the advocates that worked together to bring this legislation to fruition. HB 363 increases justice and safety for all vulnerable groups, including bicyclists and pedestrians, by sending a clear message to motorists to obey the law - now just punishment exists. There have been far too many bicycle and pedestrian fatalities, caused by motorists, on Maryland roads. HB363 fills an important loophole in the law and prosecutors will now be able to seek higher penalties for those who cause the fatality of a bicyclist.

View bill here.

Bike Maryland’s Top Legislative Priority

Bike Maryland’s #1 legislative priority is to increase penalties for drivers who cause fatalities when sober because they are driving in a negligent manner, flagrantly violating the rules of the road, and going far beyond what a reasonable driver deems prudent.

We won - this bill has passed into law!

Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel – Criminal Negligence
House Bill 363 - Sponsored By: Delegates Simmons, Dumais, Kramer, and Lee

  • Listen to the HB363 testimony: Go to http://mgahouse.maryland.gov/House/Catalog/catalogs/default.aspx
    and click on Judiciary in the left navigation bar and scroll down to 2/23/11 either one of the versions - Since it was a 4 hour session --- you can move the bar forward to 1 hour and 58 minutes which is when Delegate Simmons begins the presentation. 

  • Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel – Criminal Negligence provides a misdemeanor option for those who cause fatalities by driving in a criminally negligent manner- when sober. The bill follows the Modern Penal Code used in the majority of other states. It is a misdemeanor ---upon conviction, the person would be subject to imprisonment not to exceed 3 years and/or a fine not to exceed $5000. 
     
  • View the bill talking points here and the myths and facts here.

Increase Safe Driving

Support House Bill 196

  • This Bill prohibits a person from using a text messaging device to read a text message while operating a motor vehicle; clarifying that a specified prohibition against a person using a text messaging device to write, send, or read a text message while operating a motor vehicle includes a prohibition against writing, sending, or reading an electronic message; and repealing a provision of law that applies the text messaging prohibition to an operator of a motor vehicle only if the motor vehicle is in motion.
  • Sponsored By: Delegates Malone, Kach, F. Turner, Bobo, Cane, Carr, Glenn, Holmes, Kipke, Niemann, S. Robinson, Stein, Weir, and Wilson
    Entitled: Motor Vehicles - Use of Text Messaging Device While Driving - Prohibited Acts
    Bill is in the House - Third Reading Passed
    File Code: Vehicle Laws - Rules of the Road
    Crossfiled with: SENATE BILL 424

Support House Bill 221

  • Establishing that a specified prohibition against a minor using a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle does not apply to the use of a wireless communication device as a text messaging device; and clarifying that a specified prohibition against a person using a text messaging device to write or send a text message while operating a motor vehicle under specified circumstances includes a prohibition against writing or sending an electronic message.
  • Bill is in the House - First Reading Environmental Matters
  • File Code: Vehicle Laws - Rules of the Road
    Sponsored By: Delegate Malone
    Entitled:  Motor Vehicles - Use of Text Messaging Device While Driving

Support House Bill 222

  • Repealing provisions of law that require enforcement as a secondary offense of specified violations involving the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle; repealing provisions of law that apply prohibitions involving the use of a wireless communication device to specified operators of motor vehicles only if the motor vehicle is in motion; providing that specified prohibitions apply only if the vehicle is in the travel portion of a roadway; etc.
  • Bill is in the House - First Reading Environmental Matters
    File Code: Vehicle Laws - Rules of the Road
    Sponsored By: Delegate Malone
    Entitled: Motor Vehicles - Use of Wireless Communication Device - Prohibited Acts and Enforcement 

3. View the full list of 2011 Bike Maryland's state policy initiatives here. 


The 2011 Maryland General Assembly 428th Legislative Session

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 428th Session begins January 12, 2011 and adjourns April 11, 2011. The General Assembly has 47 Senators and 141 Delegates elected from 47 districts.

Who Are Your Elected Officials? Would you like to know who represents you in the Maryland General Assembly and U.S. Congress? To find out, just enter your home address HERE. Information provided shows current elected officials and current Congressional & Legislative election district. Click Here To Contact Your Legislator.

Many of you have known someone or have heard about someone that lost their life or was seriously injured while bicycling. Bike Maryland's mission is to encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions, and provide a voice for bicyclists in Maryland. We will need your support this year to get legislation passed that makes Maryland a safer place to ride. The most important thing you can do is to make a call to your legislator. An written letter or an email is also beneficial. Five minutes of your time is needed to perform this task that can decrease your (or your friends or loved ones) chances of injury or death. You do not need to discuss the bill in depth. You will make a difference by saying, “Hello, my name is ___ and I live in your district. It is very important to me, as one of your constituents, that you support ___ bill.”