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How Does Maryland Address Reckless, Negligent & Aggressive Driving?

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Across all state roadways in Maryland, it is unlawful to engage in reckless, negligent or aggressive driving. These offenses and similar traffic violations represent a serious danger of personal injury and property damage. To safeguard drivers from this type of behavior on state roads, Maryland employs strict laws and criminal penalties for reckless, negligent or aggressive driving conduct.

What is Reckless Driving in Maryland?

Maryland Code Transportation Section 21–901.1 defines reckless driving. There are two different versions of this offense. A person commits reckless driving if they operate a motor vehicle with:

  • A wanton disregard for the safety of people or property; or
  • The indication of a wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property.

In terms of penalties, reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense in Maryland. Offenders typically face fines up to $1,000 and six points on their driving record.

What is Negligent Driving in Maryland?

Section 21-901.1 also formulates the definition of negligent driving. This offense applies whenever a person operates a motor vehicle in a careless fashion. If that person puts other people or property in danger, then they may face negligent driving charges.

In terms of penalties, negligent driving is a misdemeanor offense in Maryland. Offenders typically face a$500 fine and one point on their driving record. If their negligent driving contributed to a collision, then the offender can expect three points on their driving record.

What is Aggressive Driving in Maryland?

Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21–901.2 explains the boundaries of aggressive driving. This offense applies when a driver commits three or more of the following moving violations at the same time:

  • Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-202 — The driver disobeyed traffic lights or signals;
  • Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-303 — The driver improperly passed another vehicle;
  • Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-304 — The driver improperly passed another vehicle on the right-hand side;
  • Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-309 — The driver disregarded marked lanes on a state roadway;
  • Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-310 — The driver followed another vehicle too closely;
  • Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-403 — The driver failed to yield the right-of-way; or
  • Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21-801.1 — The driver exceeded the maximum speed limit permitted by law.

In terms of penalties, aggressive driving is a misdemeanor offense in Maryland. Offenders typically face a fine and five points on their driving record.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have legal questions about reckless, negligent or aggressive driving in Maryland, it can be markedly valuable to consult with a seasoned criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland, have more than 55 years of combined legal experience in criminal defense, including reckless, negligent and aggressive driving. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.

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