Gross Weight Restrictions for Commercial Vehicles in Maryland
In order to minimize the chance of truck accidents and similar incidents, the State of Maryland imposes certain restrictions on the gross weight of commercial vehicles. By regulating the weight of commercial vehicles, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (the Administration) can help ensure safe public highways for all drivers within the state.
Registration Based on Gross Weight
Under Maryland Code of Transportation Section 24–110, certain commercial vehicles must register their maximum permissible gross weight. The registration requirements under Section 24-110 apply to:
- Truck tractors;
- Trailers; and
Before registering any of the vehicles above, the Administration may require the owner to submit additional information. Alternatively, the Administration may require the owner to go through an investigative or testing process. Ultimately, the Administration is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle in question will operate safely on public highways within Maryland.
When the Administration decides to register a vehicle, the registration card will display the maximum permissible gross weight for that vehicle. If the registered vehicle is part of a combination of vehicles, then the registration card will also display the total permissible gross weight for the entire combination of vehicles.
Gross Weight Restrictions
Maryland Code of Transportation Section 24–101 details the existence of a maximum permissible gross weight certain for trucks and other vehicles.
A person may not drive — or allow another person to drive on their behalf — any vehicle that exceeds gross weight restrictions. This prohibition applies to all publicly maintained highways in Maryland. Specifically, no person is allowed to drive a vehicle with a gross weight that is greater than:
- The maximum registered weight limit under Section 24-110; or
- Any other maximum weight limit established under Maryland law.
That being said, Section 24-101 does provide several exceptions. The following types of vehicles are exempt from Maryland size, weight and load restrictions:
- Emergency services vehicles;
- Farm equipment (on a temporary basis);
- Certain Maryland state public vehicles; and
- Any other vehicles with a valid permit.
Additionally, Maryland Code of Transportation Section 24–112 does allow the Administration to issue permits for overweight vehicles. The minimum fee for such a permit is calculated as follows:
- $30 for the 90,000 pounds of gross weight; and
- $5 for each additional 2,000 pounds of gross weight.
Penalties for Driving Overweight Vehicles
The penalties for driving an overweight vehicle appear in Section 24-112. In the absence of a valid permit, it is unlawful to drive overweight vehicles in Maryland. The penalties for a violation are as follows:
- First Offense — Results in a maximum fine of $1,000;
- Second Offense — Results in a maximum fine of $2,000; and
- Third Offense — Results in a maximum fine of $3,000.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about truck accidents in Maryland, it can be exceedingly beneficial to contact a dependable personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, have many years of legal experience in the field of personal injury law, including truck accidents and related considerations. If you need legal help, contact us today for a free initial consultation.