As a member of the Motor Vehicles and Transportation subcommittee, I am constantly looking for ways to improve public safety on Maryland’s roads. As a legislator for District 11, I also work with the State Highway Administration and the Maryland Transit Administration to ensure safe roads and transit service.
Railroad Safety Requirements
This bill would require that each freight train operating in Maryland and sharing tracks with passenger and commuter rail trains have a minimum crew of two people. It is very similar to the bill this committee (and the House of Delegates) passed in 2017. Having a two-person crew is particularly important when there’s an emergency. In the event of an emergency, a lone crew member cannot properly assess the situation, secure the train, and notify all necessary emergency responders in a timely manner. The bill passed both the House and Senate, however it was vetoed by the Governor. I plan to reintroduce this bill in the 2019 session
This bill prohibits a person or an agent, a representative, or a designee of the State or a local government from requiring, coercing, or compelling an individual to undergo a certain implanting of a certain identification device. This legislation does not affect a person’s ability to voluntarily receive a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip-it only prevents this technology from being forced upon anyone. This ban is needed to protect the health and privacy of our citizens. This technology presents many risks that have not been fully researched. The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, which develops ethics policies for the American Medical Association, found that RFID devices can compromise a person’s privacy because there is no assurance that the information contained in the tags can be protected. The bill passed both the House and Senate and was signed into law by the Governor.
This legislation requires that vehicle manufacturers, distributors, and factory branches, or their agents, to allow vehicle dealers to furnish consumer data in a certain manner; authorizing manufacturers, distributors, and factory branches to access data management systems with express written consent of the dealer; prohibiting manufacturers, distributors, and factory branches from requiring a dealer to grant access to the dealer’s data management systems through a franchise agreement.
HB 494 Motor Vehicle – Use of Fog Lights when Windshield Wipers Operating – Repeal After my 2016 bill failed, I decided to simplify the language to achieve the same goal. This bill repeals the use of fog lights, which will in effect require that drivers have their headlights on, which also turns on tail lights, whenever wipers are in use. This bill also makes the overhead highway signs that are now in use more accurate: “Wipers on, headlights on, it’s the law.”
HB 889 Vehicle Laws – HOV Lanes – Tow Trucks This bill will allow tow trucks, when responding to a call for service, to use an HOV lane. Tow trucks will be able to get to accidents or disabled motorists more quickly, reducing the time it takes for disabled cars to be moved off the highway.
HB 294 – Lamps and Lights When Windshield Wipers Operating Requires that drivers have both their headlights and rear lights–not fog lights—whenever their windshield wipers are in operation due to bad weather conditions. The current law, which allows for operation of headlamps or fog lights, does not sufficiently ensure safety on the roads, because turning on fog lights does not automatically turn on the tail lights of the vehicle, which makes it difficult for cars behind to see in poor weather conditions.
HB 373 – Passenger Seatbelts – Primary Offense – is another bill designed to reduce unnecessary injuries and fatalities in car accidents. Current law makes it mandatory for the driver and front outboard passenger to wear seatbelts, but not a front middle-seat passenger. The current law also makes it a secondary offense not to wear a seatbelt in the back passenger seats. However, unrestrained passengers are much more likely to be injured or killed and to cause injuries to other passengers in the event of an accident. In order to prevent unnecessary and tragic deaths and injuries, HB 373 will require every passenger of a vehicle to wear a seat by making it a primary offense not to wear a seat belt.