Traffic Noise Monitoring in Maryland
If you live in an urban area, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with loud traffic noise, especially if you’re trying to sleep or concentrate. In response to this problem, lawmakers in Maryland are considering new legislation that would allow three counties to set up a traffic noise monitoring system.
The proposed bill would authorize Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties to establish a system to monitor traffic noise levels and identify areas where noise pollution exceeds state standards. If the system identifies a problem area, the county would be required to take action to reduce noise levels, which could include implementing traffic calming measures or restricting loud vehicles.
One of the primary concerns that the bill aims to address is the issue of loud vehicles, such as motorcycles and cars with modified exhaust systems, which can produce noise levels well above the legal limit. Under the proposed legislation, law enforcement officers would have the authority to issue fines to drivers of vehicles that exceed the legal noise limit.
While some drivers may view this as an infringement on their personal freedoms, proponents of the bill argue that excessive noise pollution can have serious health consequences, including hearing loss, stress, and sleep disturbances. In addition, noise pollution can decrease property values and make it difficult to attract businesses to affected areas.
The proposed legislation has received support from several groups, including the Maryland Sierra Club and the Maryland Association of Counties. However, some critics argue that the bill would be difficult to enforce and could lead to confusion about what constitutes excessive noise.
Regardless of whether the bill ultimately becomes law, the issue of traffic noise is one that affects many communities in Maryland and across the country. As cities continue to grow and more people move into urban areas, it’s likely that the issue of traffic noise will only become more pressing. While there may not be a perfect solution, it’s encouraging to see lawmakers taking steps to address this important issue and explore ways to make our communities quieter and more livable for all.
Other Traffic Laws in Maryland:
As of my knowledge cutoff date in 2021, Maryland had enacted several new traffic laws. Here are some of the most notable ones:
- Move Over Law: In October 2020, Maryland expanded its Move Over Law to include not only emergency vehicles, but also tow trucks, highway construction vehicles, and transportation service vehicles. Drivers must move over to an adjacent lane or slow down when passing these vehicles with flashing lights.
- Pedestrian Safety Law: Also in October 2020, Maryland passed a law requiring drivers to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians who are crossing the street in a crosswalk, even if there is no traffic signal or stop sign present. This law also applies to intersections with marked crosswalks where the pedestrian has a “walk” signal.
- Work Zone Safety Law: Maryland has increased penalties for drivers who speed or cause a crash in a work zone. Fines can range from $500 to $1,000, and drivers may also face license suspension or revocation.
- Texting and Driving Law: Maryland has banned the use of handheld phones while driving, including texting and making phone calls. Drivers can only use hands-free technology, such as Bluetooth, to make phone calls or use navigation apps while driving.
- Bicycle Safety Law: In October 2019, Maryland passed a law requiring drivers to pass bicyclists at a distance of at least three feet when overtaking them. Drivers who fail to do so can be fined up to $500.
It’s important for drivers in Maryland to be aware of these new laws and to comply with them to avoid fines and penalties. As always, it’s important to practice safe driving habits, including wearing a seat belt, obeying traffic signals and signs, and avoiding distracted driving. By following these laws and being mindful of other drivers and pedestrians, we can all work together to make Maryland’s roads safer for everyone.
For help with traffic violations in Maryland, Contact Attorney Riley at (202) 335-1722.