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Session Laws, 1963
Volume 671, Page 2187   View pdf image (33K)
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J. MILLARD TAWES, Governor                    2187

Senate Bill 179 and House Bill 217 are identical Bills and, if
enacted, would permit Trial Magistrates to suspend or reduce fines in
axle load violation cases.

Members of the State Roads Commission are unanimous in their
opposition to both Bills and the history of this type legislation indi-
cates to me that their decision is sound.

The Statute which prohibited Trial Magistrates from reducing or
suspending fines in truck weight violation cases was enacted in 1951.
During the calendar year 1949, the Magistrates suspended sentences
in 186 cases; for the year 1950, the Magistrates suspended fines in
201 cases, and for the year 1951, there were 100 suspensions between
January 1 and June 1, the effective date of the Statute preventing

During the five year period after the effective date of the Act,
such suspensions virtually disappeared. In 1952, there was one
suspension; in 1953, two suspensions; in 1954, three; in 1955, there
was one, and in 1956, there was one.

It may be that both Bills were intended to permit Magistrates
to reduce or suspend the fines in cases where the load shifted after
the initial loading, thus overloading an axle. As drawn, however,
the Bills also give Trial Magistrates this discretion in cases where
the vehicle was improperly loaded in the first place.

History indicates that the granting of such discretionary powers
would encourage the development of a situation that existed in Mary-
land prior to June 1, 1951. Both Bills invite violation of existing
laws because the threat of severe penalties would have been di-
minished. Such a situation is not consistent with our efforts to pro-
mote traffic safety nor is it consistent with the maintenance of a
good highway system.

Because of these factors and considering the fact that Maryland
now allows as heavy a permissible axle weight load as any State in
the Country (22,400 lbs.), I have decided to veto Senate Bill 179.

With kindest personal regards, I am

Sincerely yours,



Senate Bill No. 320—State Auditor's Study of Motor Vehicle Use

AN ACT to add a new Section 34A to Article 19 of the Annotated
Code of Maryland (1957 Edition), title "Comptroller," subtitle
"State Auditor," to follow immediately after Section 34 thereof,
requiring the State Auditor to study and compile information on
the use of certain motor vehicles purchased for and used by the
State or one of its departments, boards, bureaus, commissions, or
other agencies, and providing for the extent and use of these studies
and compilations.


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Session Laws, 1963
Volume 671, Page 2187   View pdf image (33K)
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