Bicycle Activists Push Tougher Negligence Law in Maryland

26 Jan 2011


Posted by Lawson

As you may have read from my previous blog posts; car accidents happen every day and at times pedestrians are injured due to negligent driving behavior. In an effort to discourage such accidents and express the problems with calling such accidents simply an act of negligence punishable by a simple fine. Here is an excerpt from the article...

"With the opening of the General Assembly session today, Maryland's bicycling advocates are renewing their effort to pass legislation addressing a gap in the law between simple negligent driving and the criminal offense of negligent manslaughter by automobile.

Concerned that drivers in fatal crashes are getting off too easily under the negligent driving statute -- a ticket-able offense that can be resolved without trial by paying a fine -- the advocates are trying to create an intermediate charge of "manslaughter by motor vehicle -- criminal negligence."

That charge, which would apply when a sober driver kills someone through gross negligence not related to intoxication, would be a serious misdemeanor carrying a potential term of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The current criminal manslaughter by motor vehicle charge carries a potential 10-year, $5,000 penalty. In practice, it is very difficult for prosecutors to reach the level of proof necessary to win a conviction on that charge."

You can read more at the following url:
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/traffic/2011/01/bicycle_activists_p...

What do you think about the intention of these activists?

Would you want more clearly defined and segmented punishments for negligent drivers who cause accidents?

Leave me a comment below so I know what you think...