Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"It's cosmically absurd!"

...that's how Maryland Delegate Luiz Simmons has described Maryland's current vehicular manslaughter laws that allow drivers to "just stroke a check" after causing a fatal wreck. The "cosmically absurd" phrase is Simmons', the "stroke a check" quote is one that comes from AAA MidAtlantic's Lon Anderson, who, last year in Annapolis gave an impassioned, emotional account of a number of fatal crashes.

And this year, AAA MidAtlantic and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association teamed up to go before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to push for passage of House Bill 363, a bill that would toughen the laws against vehicular manslaughter. The law would make it possible for judges to impose jail time and a fine.

Lon Anderson and WABA's Shane Farthing joined members of families who've lost loved ones to fatal wrecks to offer testimony to members of the Senate Committee. The bill made it out of the House Judiciary Committee, a major milestone according to proponents who point out the bill has stalled there year after year.

You can see the Maryland General Assembly's summary of the bill here: http://bit.ly/eVBLud

The offense would still be: a misdemeanor.

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