Maryland Auto Driving Laws
Turn On Lights in the Rain.
Maryland traffic laws require all drivers to turn on their headlights
whenever they are using their windshield wipers.
Maryland driving law requires everyone seated in the front seat must have
their seat belts fastened. If age 15 or younger, they must always wear a seat
belt regardless of where they are seated. Children under 4 and those who weigh
less than 40 pounds must be in a child safety seat. Any passenger in a car being
driven by a person with a provisional driver's license must also use a seatbelt
or a child safety seat.
Stop for Pedestrians.
Maryland traffic laws require all vehicles to stop for any pedestrian. Always
prepare to stop when you approach an intersection and look out for pedestrian
Yield to the Right at 4-Way Stop Signs.
In accordance with Maryland driving law, at all intersections controlled with
4-way stop signs in Maryland, the vehicle that arrives first may proceed through
the intersection. Drivers must first stop at the stop sign.
If more than one of you arrive at the stop signs at approximately the same
time, you must yield to the vehicle to your right. That motorist proceeds
Full Stop Before a Turn on Red.
Unless there is a sign prohibiting it, Maryland driving law allows drivers to
turn right after stopping for a red light. Drivers may also turn left from a
one-way street onto another one-way street if there is no sign that says "No
Turn on Red".
Pass on the Left.
It's legal under Maryland driving law to pass on the left or right on
multi-laned highways. Whenever possible, passing on the left is preferable.
Merge With Caution.
Always check for an opening early whenever you are merging onto a roadway. Do
a head check first, to find a spot. Keep checking the traffic in front of you to
make sure it is not slowing or stopping. Check your spot again, and merge into
The "yield" sign means exactly that, you must yield the right of way to the
through traffic and stop if necessary. The through traffic is not required to
yield to any entering traffic. Courtesy and responsibility is expected of all
who use Maryland's roadways.
Do Not Drive Aggressively.
Maryland driving law is tough on aggressive drivers, with tickets, tough
fines and points, particularly for violations of Maryland traffic laws such as
speeding, running red lights and stop signs, tailgating, and unsafe lane
changes. Regular police stings on roads are coordinated with the District of
Columbia and Virginia. Drivers can receive a five-point penalty on their driving
record if convicted of aggressive driving.
Maryland driving law is also tough on drunk drivers. If a driver is pulled
over and has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, he or she will be
arrested for drunk driving. The .08 level can translate into just a drink or two
depending on one's height and weight. Refusing a breath test is admissible as
evidence in Maryland courts, too.
Yield the Right-of-Way to Bicyclists.
Bicycles are treated as vehicles in Maryland. Motorists must yield the
right-of-way to bicyclists. Do not attempt to share the lane with bicyclists. If
you are unable to safely pass them, reduce your speed, and follow the bicycle at
a safe distance. Wait for a safe opportunity to pass, allowing adequate
clearance, about three feet from the side of your vehicle, and return to your
lane when you can clearly see the bicyclist in your rear view mirror.
Under Maryland traffic laws, a bicycle is not restricted to the right side of
the road. Share the road and do not use your horn. The bicyclist can usually
hear an approaching vehicle and loud noises can startle the bicyclist and may
cause an accident.
Maintain Current Auto Insurance.
Maryland driving law penalizes uninsured motorists $150 for the first month
of driving without insurance and $7 each day thereafter. To ensure insurance
coverage, motorists should never cancel insurance on any sold or disposed of
vehicle until after the license plates have been returned to the MVA. The MVA
will give the motorist a receipt when the license plates are returned. It is the
motorist's best proof the law of Maryland has been followed.
For More Information
Maryland Department of Transportation