Dear AAA Member:
AAA Mid–Atlantic asks you take action on two important issues facing Maryland motorists. The first is to get drunk driving legislation passed, while the second involves stopping E–ZPass fee increases.
1) Drunk Driving Bills Pending in Legislative Committees
Recommended by the Task Force to Combat Driving Under the Influence, five drunk driving bills have been introduced in both the Senate and House. If passed, they will help close Maryland’s DUI law loopholes that allow repeat offenders to escape serious penalties.
The bills were initially heard on February 17 & 18, but none have yet been passed out of committee.
Please send a message to your state legislators to urge committee members to vote for these bills, so they can go to the full Assembly for passage.
Action to tighten Maryland’s drunk driving laws and save lives on Maryland’s roadways is long overdue. These laws need to be passed now!!!
2) E–ZPass Fee Increases
Currently there is no initial fee or monthly charge to open an EZPass account in Maryland other than to provide an initial minimum balance. Recently the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) approved both an initial $21 “transponder fee” and also an $18 annual charge ($1.50 monthly).
AAA Mid–Atlantic believes that imposition of both of these fees at their proposed level will cause too many motorists, especially infrequent users, to cancel their accounts, and discourage others from opening accounts, causing longer toll lines that slow us all down and force MDTA to hire more toll collectors.
Few other states have both fees. Neither Virginia nor West Virginia charges either fee and Pennsylvania charges a modest $3 annually ($.50 monthly).
Governor Martin O’Malley has the authority to override the MDTA Board and stop the changes before they are implemented on July 1.
Please forward this email to family and friends and ask them to take action on these two important issues as well.
AAA Mid–Atlantic’s Cars & Driving community on the Web tackles these important issues, and many others, on a daily basis.
Thank you for assisting AAA as it protects Maryland motorists’ interests.
As always, thank you for your membership.
Ronald W. Kosh
Vice President, Public & Government Affairs