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What is the Difference Between Aggressive, Negligent & Reckless Driving?

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The Maryland Code of Transportation establishes statewide rules of the road and defines numerous types of traffic offenses. In addition to criminal offenses such as DUI, it is also illegal in Maryland to commit aggressive, negligent, or reckless driving. To discern the subtle differences between these traffic offenses, the following sections will examine several relevant statutes under Maryland law.

  1. Aggressive Driving Laws & Penalties

Maryland Code, Transportation Section 21–901.2 details the state laws against reckless driving. This section makes it illegal to commit three or more of the following offenses at the same time:

  • Disregarding traffic lights or signals, in violation of Maryland Code, Transportation Section 21-202;
  • Improperly passing or overtaking other vehicles, in violation of Maryland Code, Transportation Section 21-303;
  • Incorrectly passing or overtaking vehicles on the right side, in violation of Maryland Code, Transportation Section 21-304;
  • Neglecting to follow the driving rules for roads with lanes, in violation of Maryland Code, Transportation Section 21-309;
  • Tailgating or following other vehicles too closely, in violation of Maryland Code, Transportation Section 21-310;
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way, in violation of Maryland Code, Transportation Section 21-403; or
  • Surpassing the maximum speed limit or posted speed limit, in violation of Maryland Code, Transportation Section 21-801.1.

Under Maryland law, aggressive driving is a misdemeanor offense. The punishment for this type of misdemeanor usually involves a maximum fine of $500 and five demerit points on the offender’s driving record.

On a related note, if a driver accumulates too many demerit points, there are serious consequences. Any Maryland driver who receives eight or more demerit points in a 24-month timespan will be subject to mandatory driver’s license suspension.

  1. Negligent Driving Laws & Penalties

Maryland Code, Transportation Section 21–901.1 describes the state laws against negligent driving. This section makes it unlawful to:

  • Operate a motor vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner; and
  • Create a risk of harm or injury to other people or property.

Under Maryland law, negligent driving is a misdemeanor offense. The punishment for this type of misdemeanor usually involves a maximum fine of $500 and one demerit point on the offender’s driving record.  If the negligent driving contributed to an accident, then three points will be assessed.

  1. Reckless Driving Laws & Penalties

Section 21–901.1 also explains the state laws against reckless driving. This section makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle:

  • With a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property; or
  • In a way that indicates a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property.

Under Maryland law, reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense. The punishment for this type of misdemeanor usually involves a maximum fine of $1,000 and six demerit points on the offender’s driving record.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you have legal questions about aggressive, negligent, or reckless driving in Maryland, it can be immensely fruitful to contact a proficient criminal defense attorney. The Bel Air criminal attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered are prepared to assist you throughout each step of your case. Contact us today for help.

 

Resource:

mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Laws/StatuteText?article=gtr&section=21-901.1&enactments=false

https://www.stclaw.net/rejection-of-child-visitation-rights-under-maryland-law/

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