NEW TRAFFIC LAWS: More jail time for drugged driving; no objects on mirror

New law raises jail time for drugged driving in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) - Starting Sunday, jail time will go up in Maryland for drugged driving that ends in a death.

It's one of several new laws, aimed at improving traffic safety in the state, to go into effect Oct. 1.

Penalties for vehicular homicide, or homicide by vessel, while impaired by drugs will rise from three to five years, according to AAA, which supported the state bill.

“Tragically, drugged driving fatalities are becoming more and more prevalent on our roadways, even eclipsing alcohol-related fatalities,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The maximum jail time for those previously impaired by drugs will also rise from five to 10 years.

Other laws will also allow tow trucks to use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes while responding to a call for service, and require trash or recycling trucks to have yellow or amber lights or signal devices to show they may impede traffic.

Laws will also:

-Forbid drivers from hanging items on the rearview mirror that obstruct their windshield view

-Let drivers pass on the right shoulder if a vehicle is making a left turn ahead and the driver doesn't leave the paved surface

-Give bicyclists the same protection as pedestrians in crosswalks

-Give more time to commercial license holders to resolve child support noncompliance

-Forbid driving record entries that caused a death from ever being expunged

-Allow marijuana possession to be expunged in certain cases

More information is available at the state's Department of Legislative Services.

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