Maryland: Increase enforcement and penalties for aggressive driving around horse trailers

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The equestrian industry in Maryland brings more than $1 billion to the state annually (Source: The Baltimore Sun, 2014). Despite this economic asset, no laws currently exist to protect the thousands of individuals hauling horse trailers in Maryland.

The objective of this petition is to collect signatures to present to a prospective sponsor delegate or senator in the Maryland General Assembly, with the goal of passing legislation to increase enforcement and set minimum aggressive driving penalties for drivers who make unsafe or aggressive maneuvers around horse trailers. The 2017 legislative session is over, so we have plenty of time to gain support in preparation for the 2018 legislative session, which begins in January.

Too often, drivers of horse trailers face aggressive behaviors from other drivers around them. Tailgating, stopping short, weaving - all of these behaviors are aggressive to begin with, but add one or two 1,200-pound horses into the mix, and the consequences of these actions are amplified and potentially devastating. Horse trailers simply cannot stop on a dime without risking injury or death of their horses. It's time for our Maryland legislators to take the lead and pass the first law of its kind not only in our state, but in the nation.

And, because every bill needs a name, we propose this legislation be named "Roman's Law," after our sweet guy in the photo above. He - and every horse in our great state - deserves safe transport wherever he goes. Let's make it happen.

The Back Story:

On April 8, 2017, I was driving our horse, Roman, home to Dickerson, Maryland from his first endurance ride in Fair Hill, Maryland.

It was the most harrowing two-hour drive of my life.

I encountered aggressive drivers on back roads, highways, and even gas station parking lots. And these aren't isolated incidents; ask just about any equestrian and they'll tell you about a close call they've had with an aggressive driver.

If you've driven a loaded horse trailer before, you know that even the slightest movement can send your beloved horse careening into the wall of their trailer. And if you've never hauled a live animal before, picture this: you're 1,200 pounds, traveling in a metal box at 60 mph, and balancing yourself on four hooves smaller than salad plates. Now imagine your driver having to slam on their brakes.

Enough is enough. I'm not into complaining without taking action, so I'm taking action. If you feel so inclined, please sign the petition to increase enforcement and penalties for aggressive driving around horse trailers.

*Maryland Residents: if you choose to sign this petition (thank you!) please put your county of residence in the "reasons for signing" box. This will help to gain support among the delegates and senators representing your district!*

*Non-Maryland Residents: you can also sign the petition in support! Every signature will make a difference!*