Maryland Traffic Violations Lawyer
The Maryland law code states in Transportation Title 21, Subtitle 1, Section 21-102 that a person may not do any act prohibited by, or fail to do any act required by, the state vehicle laws and rules of the road in Title 21. Furthermore, Section 21-103 emphasizes the importance of obeying orders and directions from police officers, any summons received and the summons to testify under oath in charges brought under the Vehicle Law of Maryland.
Maryland traffic law applies to drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, those riding animals or animal-drawn vehicles, those riding snowmobiles, roadway workers, emergency vehicles and school crossing guards. Many details of using public roadways are covered in Title 21, including signs, signals and markings, using the correct side of the road, passing, pedestrian’s rights, turning and starting, speed restrictions, parking, towing, operating bicycles and recreation vehicles, toll facilities and more.
In 2001, TR 25-113 was passed by the Maryland General Assembly. The statue seeks to provide information about possible racial profiling in the context of traffic stops by requiring data collection on Maryland traffic stops. As of January 1, 2013, the data collected from traffic stops will be electronically recorded and submitted. If you have any questions about traffic laws, charges brought against you or the collection of traffic stop data, please talk to a Maryland traffic violations lawyer from our office.
- Traffic Signs, Signals and Markings
- Driving on the Right and Passing
- Right of Way
- Pedestrians Rights and Rules
- Speed Restrictions
- Reckless Driving and Eluding Police
- Bicycles, Motorcycles and Recreation Vehicles
Traffic Signs, Signals and Markings
Subtitle 2 discusses the words, lights and other directions and signals drivers encounter and must obey on public roads. It details the meaning of these items and how drivers are to interpret them. For example, Sections 21-202 and 21-204 lay out red, yellow and green light indications û both steady and flashing. It also talks about the illegal actions of tampering with signs or placing unauthorized signs on the public roadways.
Section 21-207 specifically talks about vehicle funeral processions. Funeral processions may proceed through red lights, and other traffic must not interfere with the procession. Cars in the procession must have headlights on to be granted the right of way.
Driving on the Right and Passing
Section 21-301 states that, on roads that are wide enough, drivers should stay to the right hand side of the road. The exception to this is when the driver is passing another vehicle headed in the same direction.
Section 21-301 does not prohibit crossing the center lane when making a left turn in to or out of a private drive or alley.
No passing zones, one-way roads and following too closely are outlined in Sections 3-307, 3-308 and 3-310.
Violating any of the rules detailed in Subtitle 3 comes with the risk of being pulled over by a law enforcement agent and receiving a penalty. If this has happened to you, traffic violations lawyers in Maryland are ready to help you understand the code and your options.
Right of Way
Right of way can be a confusing situation, and lead to accidents and ticketing. Sections 21-401 to 21-405 provide information on who has the right of way at different types of intersections, left turns and U-turns, stopping and yielding, merging onto highways and the operations of emergency vehicles.
Typically at an intersection, vehicles on the right have the right of way in the absence of traffic control devices. At a ôTö intersection without a light or other control device, drivers on the roadway that intersects and does not continue on the other side must yield to the traffic on the continuing roadway.
Emergency vehicles, in general, always have the right of way. Other vehicles must yield to them when they use lawful lights and signals.
Pedestrian’s Rights and Rules
Section 21-501 clearly states that pedestrians must observe traffic control signals. In the absence of traffic signals, pedestrians always have the right of way. Section 21-504 cautions drivers to exercise caution regarding pedestrians, especially children and disabled individuals.
Section 21-507 mentions certain activities that are not legal for pedestrians. Included are soliciting rides or employment, asking another to watch a vehicle and asking for money (in certain counties). Exceptions to this may be if a driver asks other drivers for help in the case of a broken down vehicle.
In Section 21-801, ôreasonable and prudent speedö is deemed required. Drivers are also told they must control the speed of their vehicle in order to avoid a collision with moving and stationary objects. Decreased speed is encouraged at railroad crossing, around curves and on narrow, winding roads.
Specific roadways have specific speed limits as follows:
- 15 miles an hour in Baltimore County alleys
- 30 miles an hour on business district highways and residential district undivided highways
- 35 miles an hour on residential district divided highways
- 50 miles an hour on other undivided highways
- 55 miles an hour on other divided highways
According to Section 21-807, documents that charge drivers with speeding must include alleged speed and maximum speed limit of the location. If the driver was driving too slowly, the minimum speed must be noted.
If you believe that you have wrongly received a traffic ticket for speeding, talk to one of our Maryland traffic violations attorneys during a free initial consultation.
Reckless Driving and Alluding Police
Section 21-901.1 defines reckless driving as a driver operating a vehicle with willful (or apparently willful) disregard for safety or with negligence that endangers people or property. Section 21-902.2 defines aggressive driving as violating three or more certain traffic laws at one time.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or consuming alcohol while on the road, is not allowed, and receives special attention if a car contains a minor. The Criminal Law Code of Maryland gives further definition in º 5-101.
Drivers and pedestrians must obey the direction of police officers, and thus not try to elude law enforcement either in a vehicle or on foot, according to Section 21-904.
Bicycles, Motorcycles and Recreation Vehicles
In Section 21-1202, the code states that anyone operating a bicycle or motor scooter is allowed all of the rights of other drivers, and is held to the same legal requirements of other vehicle drivers. Drivers of these modes of transportation, as well as sleds, skateboards, roller skates and other ôplayö vehicles, may not attach themselves to other vehicles for a tow or for recreation.
According to Section 21-1207.1, helmets are required for all cyclists (except in very few circumstances). Not wearing a helmet when it is required can earn you a warning from law enforcement. Section 21-1210 reminds cyclists of the dangers of headsets and earplugs.
Section 21-1301 states that all motorcycle drivers have the rights of other motorists, and are subject to the laws of the road. Motorcycles themselves must be appropriately equipped for the type of roadway they are using with properly sized engines.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list or description of the laws and regulations for Maryland state roads. Citizens may find a wealth of information in the Maryland Code of Transportation, Title 21. Violation of these rules puts you at risk for being stopped by law enforcement and receiving a penalty. If you have any concerns or questions regarding use of traffic laws and violations you may have received, contact our traffic violations attorneys in Maryland, and ask to schedule a free initial consultation.