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All front seat car occupants must wear seat belts. Any Maryland law enforcement officer has a right to pull your vehicle over if you are caught riding in a vehicle without a seat belt. If you have a physical or medical condition that is preventing you from wearing a seat belt, you must provide statement from your medical professional whenever you are required to do so.
Child Car Seat
Any child younger than 8 years old must ride in a federally approved child safety seat, unless the child is taller than 4 ft. 9 inches. If you are using a child restraint system, it must conform to the child’s age, height and weight. Child safety seats include convertible seats, infant seats, booster seats, forward-facing seats or any other safety device that has been approved federally as a child car seat. If you are shopping for a right child safety seat, you can purchase one online. Be sure to consider your child’s size, age, weight and height before making your order. The Maryland’s Project KISS helps those who can’t afford child safety seats. For more information call them at (800) 370-SEAT.
Cell Phones and Texting
All drivers in Maryland are banned from using hand-held cell phones. Also, all drivers younger than 18 years old with a provisional license or a learner’s permit are banned from using all mobile devices. All drivers, regardless of age and license status, are banned from texting while driving on public roads or streets.
Maryland Helmets laws
- All bicycle riders younger than 16 years old must wear an appropriate helmet while riding.
- All motorcycle riders, regardless of age, must wear helmets while riding.
- There is no state-wide helmet law for ATV riders. Wearing a helmet is entirely up to you.
You must turn on the headlights:
- After sunset until sunrise.
- Whenever the weather is reducing visibility past 1,000 feet ahead.
- Whenever you are using windshield wipers.
Unattended Motor Vehicles
If you intend to leave your vehicle unattended for a certain time, it is recommended you:
- Turn off the engine.
- Set the brakes.
- Lock the ignition.
- Remove the key.
Unattended Children and Pets
You already know that it is not a good idea to leave a kid younger than 8 years old unattended in a vehicle at any given time. It puts the child at risk especially during extreme cold or hot conditions. Also, the child may tamper with the vehicle causing an accident or destroying some vehicle components. If you suspect unattended kid in a vehicle and you feel that his or her life is threatened, call your local law enforcement officers immediately.
It is also unsafe to leave a pet unattended in a car at any given time. If you suspect unattended pet in a vehicle, contact the law enforcement officers or animal control officers immediately.
Reporting Unsafe or Drunk Drivers
There are several ways you can report unsafe or drunk driver in Maryland. These include:
- Contacting your local law enforcement officers through 911.
- Contacting a Maryland MVA customer service representative.
- Reporting the driver to the Medical Advisory Board. You can do so by calling them at (410) 768-7511.
Finding Maryland’s Safety Laws
The Maryland safety laws are not static. They are subject to change. The following resources can help you stay current with these laws:
- The Maryland Driver's Handbook.
- MVA locations.
- The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's (MVA) customer service.
- Maryland's Codes and Rules.
- Maryland State Police and other law enforcement agencies.