Maryland House Bill 363: Manslaughter by Vehicle or Vessel–Criminal Negligence

Maryland House Bill 363 strives to fill a loop-hole in Maryland’s criminal law that currently operates to allow drivers who kill cyclists to go to traffic court instead of criminal court. This often results in a fine of a few hundreds dollars rather than a jury trial or potential prison time.

HB 363 creates a new type of misdemeanor for causing the death of another person while operating a vehicle in a “criminally negligent manner.” This law is partially in response to the death of Natasha Pettigrew in Prince George’s County, Maryland, last September.

The bill can be read here: http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/bills/hb/hb0363f.pdf

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