As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, I and my staff of experienced legal professional know the law and understand its implications for the citizens of this state. Having represented many people who have been victimized by others through negligence, inattentiveness, thoughtlessness and even outright aggression, we know the pain and anger that these victims can feel after such a tragic event as a motorcycle, car or trucking-related highway accident.
Not only does an accident victim have to suffer through the pain and potentially long-term effects of the physical collision, there are also medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs, all of which come out of that one, momentary lapse of judgment on another person’s part. Quite often the resentment is palpable. As auto accident attorneys, however, our job is to see that our clients’ rights are recognized in a court of law, and that justice is served on those who caused the injuries to or death of the victim.
Our traffic laws help to keep people safe on the road, though words and the threat of punishment is not always a deterrent for those either too unconcerned or unthinking to worry about the others he leaves in his wake. Take, for instance, aggressive driving, which has become a big problem on our roadways and a cause of many traffic accidents, both here in Maryland as well as throughout the county. Over the past few years, Baltimore and other cities have experienced a rise in unlicensed ATVs and motorcycles being involved in incidents that can only be categorized as aggressive in nature.
We applaud the efforts of local police and state law enforcement agencies to try and keep innocent people, drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other motorcyclists safe when traveling the roads of Baltimore, Annapolis and even the District. As experienced trial lawyers, we are committed to representing victims of bad drivers, negligent truckers and aggressive riders who many have been hurt or severely injured by these individuals.
Most recently, we took note of some legislation that was been enacted, most of which we hope will contribute to the safety and security of drivers, motorcycle riders, pedestrians and bicyclists who frequent our city streets and rural routes. According to news reports, the new motor vehicle laws that took effect on October 1, 2012, will impact mopeds, motor scooters and their riders, as well as pedestrians and new drivers.
One big change is that all mopeds and motor scooters are now required to be registered and titled with the state. For the cost of five dollars, each new vehicle used on a public road will get a permanent decal which will be placed on the back of the scooter or moped — non-new motor scooters and mopeds will be exempt from this titling fee and excise tax until next October, when all scooters and moped will require to be titled. The fee as of October 2013 will reportedly be $20.
In addition to this new change, beginning on October 1, 2013, a minimum excise tax of 6 percent of $320 will go into effect. Owners of these small bikes will then be required by law to certify that have the requisite minimum level or more of liability insurance for their motor scooter or moped. Plus, from the standpoint of rider safety, the new law also requires motor scooter and moped riders to wear a motorcycle helmets and eye protection, as well as carry an insurance card.
Additional legislation affecting all drivers is House Bill 1180, which requires insurance companies to report electronically to the MVA information on their newly insured customers. The state legislature believes that this change in the law will help to improve the accuracy of the state’s vehicle insurance database, which is maintained by the MVA and that will, going forward, allow the state to more quickly identify uninsured vehicles.
Other traffic-related changes included a “Nonfunctioning Traffic Control Signal” rule that now requires drivers approaching a non-functioning traffic light to stop and yield to other vehicles or pedestrians at that intersection prior to proceeding through the intersection. Another law affects the state’s provisional driver’s licenses by reducing the required holding period and on road practice time for first time drivers over 25 years of age. For those individuals over 25, the learner’s permit holding period is now 45 days versus the previous nine-month period; the self-certifying practice time has also been reduced to 14 hours, instead of the earlier 60-hour requirement.
New Motor Vehicle-Related Laws to Take Effect Oct. 1; SoMd.com, September 28, 2012