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Executive Records, Governor J. Millard Tawes, 1959-1967
Volume 82, Volume 1, Page 571   View pdf image (33K)
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longer permitted to drive on our highways. Also, the Legislature
enacted the so-called "drunkometer" bill. This provides that the results
of a chemical test given a driver charged with operating a motor vehicle
while under the influence of alcohol be admissible as evidence in our
courts. The test is voluntary and it protects the innocent as well as helps
the police discover the guilty. I felt that this legislation was necessary
because, among other things, statistics show that excessive use of alcohol
has been found, in many states, to be a factor in up to 50 per cent of all
fatal accidents. I believe that these additions to Maryland's safety code
go hand in hand with any program to improve our highway system.

For the actual physical work of designing better roads and coor-
dinating them with the economic and civic development of the areas
through which they pass, I felt that a reorganization of the State Roads
Commission was a step in the right direction. The General Assembly
this year accepted my proposal for a change. Instead of a three-member
Commission, Maryland now has a State Roads Commission of seven
members. The Chairman of the Commission also has the title of Direc-
tor of Highways. He has exclusive jurisdiction over the location, con-
struction, geometries and design of the primary system of highways—
the 2, 023 miles made up of the interstate system and the main roads of
our State. I believe you all will agree that I appointed the best man
available for that job—John B. Funk, who will talk with you later and
in more detail about the future of our highway system.

The secondary system of roads—more than 3, 000 miles of feeder
roads—is under the jurisdiction of the full membership of the Commis-
sion. The Chairman, of course, represents the State at large, while the
other members represent the several geographic regions of the State.
I envisioned that the members of the Commission would discuss their
local problems, bearing in mind that the member of the Commission
from the area of the highway under discussion will acquaint the rest of
the Commission with local conditions as they actually exist. Being re-
sponsible only for the secondary system of local roads, I feel that the
regional commissioners will be better able to give intelligent study to
such matters than would a State-wide three-member Commission with
the added responsibility of the primary and interstate systems.

It is interesting to watch this plan starting to function. Just last week
I read an account in the press that the Commission had met with the
Montgomery County Council to discuss local problems there. I also read
that future meetings of this kind are planned, eventually enabling the
Commission to see and hear at first hand what our citizens are thinking
about their highways. I have a firm conviction that the plan will work—



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Executive Records, Governor J. Millard Tawes, 1959-1967
Volume 82, Volume 1, Page 571   View pdf image (33K)
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