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Baltimore Council President Young wants $125 fine for motorists who block intersections

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young on Monday introduced legislation that would fine motorists $125 if they block city intersections.

Since April, Young has sought to delay a city transportation plan to begin enforcing a state law that prohibits cars, trucks and buses from blocking intersections until he’s assured the city’s traffic lights are synchronized correctly.

State law calls for a $90 fine and a point on a motorist’s license in such situations. But Young said Monday his team found an existing — but unenforced — city law with a $250 fine and no points.

The legislation, he said, would clear up confusion, making the offense within city limits a $125 fine and no points.

“They haven’t been enforcing it,” Young said of the city law. “Since they’re going to start enforcement, I want them to cut that fine in half.”

Baltimore transportation officials said two months ago they will soon begin issuing fines to motorists who block intersections, causing traffic backups and creating safety issues.

Baltimore Transportation Director Michelle Pourciau said the agency is launching a “Don’t Block the Box” campaign.

Such problems typically occur when motorists enter an intersection without first making sure they will be able to move all the way through it before the light turns red during periods of high traffic.

The agency will be adding signs at key intersections to alert drivers to the new enforcement.

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