New Maryland laws take effect on October 1, 2014! We will be publishing a series of posts highlighting a few of the newly enacted laws. Please note that this series is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2014 Legislative Session. To read about more laws resulting from the 2014 session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2014 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland.
Senate Bill 348, Ch. 260/House Bill 1212, Ch. 248, commonly referred to as “Jake’s Law”, establishes “a new offense that prohibits [the] use of a handheld telephone or the writing, sending, or reading of a text message or electronic mail while driving and thereby causing an accident that directly results in the death or serious bodily injury of another.” Violators are assessed 12 points against the violator’s license by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. In addition, “[a] violator is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to imprisonment for up to one year or a maximum fine of $5,000 or both.” For more information about Jake Owen, the five-year old boy from Baltimore City who was killed when his family’s car was struck from behind by a driver on his cell phone, please see http://changeforjake.org/.Note that all quotations, unless noted otherwise, are attributable to the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2014 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland, which is available online at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/LegisLegal/2014rs-90-day-report.pdf.