Roundup of Maryland’s New Laws

October 1, 2012

The state of Maryland has been pretty busy in the law making department, enacting over 250 new laws. There are multiple new laws and changes regarding traffic violations and drug possession. Here is the roundup of new laws that went into effect today:

  • Mo-ped and Scooter Law Additions: Requires scooters and mo-peds to be titled and insured. Operators and passengers must wear a helmet and eye protection. The operator does not have to wear eye-protection if the vehicle is equipped with a windshield. A title decal must be visible on the rear of the vehicle. These requirements were created as additions to the existing law that requires all operators of motor scooters and mopeds to possess a valid driver’s license and acquire a permit for the vehicle.
  • Nonworking Traffic Control Signals: Under House Bill 67, if you approach a darkened intersection with a nonfunctioning light, all drivers must stop. Also, drivers must yield to pedestrians or other vehicles in the intersection. A violation of this law might result in a $90 fine and two points on the driver’s license. If the violation of this law results in an accident, the fine will be $130 and three points on the driver’s license.
  • Child Safety Seats: Under House Bill 313, all children under eight years of age must sit in a child safety seat unless the child is 4’9” or taller. This repeals the weight exception of 65 pounds.
  • Life-Threatening Injury by Vehicle or Vessel While Impaired by a Controlled Dangerous Substance: Also known as Ava’s Law, the maximum imprisonment increased from two to three years and the maximum fine increased from $3,000 to $5,000.
  • Marijuana Possession: In May 2012, Governor Martin O’Malley signed a law reducing the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. That law goes into effect today. The maximum penalty for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana will now result in a $500 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail.

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