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Negligent, Reckless and Aggressive Driving Laws in Maryland

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In order to combat serious car and truck accidents, Maryland law makes it unlawful to engage in negligent, reckless or aggressive driving. To understand the boundaries of and differences between these three traffic offenses, the following sections will explore important considerations for each offense.

Negligent Driving in Maryland

The definition of negligent driving appears in Code of Maryland Section 21–901.1. Under Maryland law, a person is guilty of negligent driving if they:

  • Drive in a careless or imprudent manner; and
  • Endanger property or other people.

The potential penalties for negligent driving include fines up to $500 and three administrative points on the driver’s license.

Reckless Driving in Maryland

The definition of reckless driving also appears in Section 21–901.1. Under Maryland law, a person is guilty of reckless driving if they:

  • Drive with a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of property or other people; or
  • Drive in a way that Indicates a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of property.

The potential penalties for reckless driving include fines up to $1,000 and six administrative points on the driver’s license.

Aggressive Driving in Maryland

The definition of aggressive driving appears in Code of Maryland Section 21–901.2. Under Maryland law, a person is guilty of aggressive driving if they violate three or more of the following traffic laws:

  • Code of Maryland Section 21-202 — Requires drivers to adhere to traffic lights and signals within the state;
  • Code of Maryland Section 21-303 — Commands drivers to proceed carefully and safely when overtaking or passing other vehicles;
  • Code of Maryland Section 21-304 — Regulates when and how drivers can pass or overtake other vehicles on the right-hand side;
  • Code of Maryland Section 21-309 — Indicates that all drivers must obey marked traffic lanes on all roadways within the state;
  • Code of Maryland Section 21-310 — Prohibits drivers from following other vehicles too closely, absent certain specific exceptions;
  • Code of Maryland Section 21-403 — Regulates how and when drivers must yield the right-of-way to other vehicles; or
  • Code of Maryland Section 21-801.1 — Requires drivers to adhere to the maximum speed limits and posted speed limits under state law.

It is vital to note an important limitation to aggressive driving under Maryland law. This offense only applies if the driver violates three or more of the above traffic laws:

  • At the same time; or
  • During a single, continuous period.

The potential penalties for aggressive driving include fines up to $500 and five administrative points on the driver’s license.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have legal questions about negligent, reckless or aggressive driving laws in Maryland, it can be distinctly helpful to reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, have vast experience dealing with various traffic offenses, including negligent, reckless and aggressive driving. If you need legal help, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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