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Maryland and Washington try to address speeding problem

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Firm News

Road dangers are a common focus of lawmakers, law enforcement and safety advocates in the Washington metropolitan area. While relatively recent problems like distracted driving have come to the forefront with initiatives and laws being put in effect to reduce its frequency, other longstanding problems are still causing auto crashes with injuries and fatalities.

Recently, both Maryland and Washington, D.C., took separate steps to address the issue of speeding. For drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians who are hoping that safety will improve, it is imperative to remember that accidents can still happen at any time causing injuries and fatalities. This is true regardless of attempts to reduce the risk.

Speeders could face more scrutiny and worse penalties

In Maryland, two problems that compromise the safety of others are work zone speeding and street takeovers. State lawmakers are moving forward with strategies about both. For work zones, the objective is to install more cameras to catch speeding drivers. In addition, the fines for violating the speed limit would be increased.

Street racing involves drivers blocking the roadways and performing vehicle stunts. This is dangerous in myriad ways as it cases traffic jams and leaves people vulnerable to an out of control car or truck traveling at high speed. In 2023, there were 130 such incidents. Law enforcement is limited in what it can do about these behaviors. The goal is to make drivers pay a greater price such as a license suspension.

Regarding work zones, there would be more cameras to catch drivers who speed through these areas. Speeding and recklessness puts workers in harm’s way. Since they are inherently vulnerable, drivers who ignore the signs that road work is ahead and it is necessary to slow down can cause a crash with workers. The fines for speeding would rise to $290. It is currently $40.

Washington is  going after speeding drivers in general with its attempted crackdown. It too would enhance camera-related speeding citations as drivers would have points on their license if they continually flout the law. This set of laws would also address drunk driving with the potential of lawsuits filed against them if they have multiple incidents.

If drivers have committed major violations, their vehicle could have a speed limiter installed. It includes drivers who received a conviction for aggravated reckless driving with a license suspension. The limiters would prevent vehicles from going beyond the posted speed limit. The driver is responsible for its installation.

People who take to the road in Maryland and Washington are keenly aware of the dangerous ways in which people drive. Speeding and other reckless acts cause accidents leaving people with medical bills, lost time at work and fear as to what the future holds. If these new initiatives are successful, it might enhance safety. Still, auto accidents can happen without warning. Given the problems people will face in the aftermath, it is imperative to know what options are available to make a full recovery.