By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new traffic law kicks in next month that may change driving habits in Baltimore.

The new city traffic safety campaign, “Don’t block the box,” means if drivers are blocking an intersection after the light turns red, you can be cited.

Cars stuck in the intersection can cause congestion and confusion as other drivers try to get around them, and it poses a hazard for pedestrians.

“Thirty-two percent of all statewide pedestrian involved crashes occur right here in the City of Baltimore,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said.

As part of a comprehensive traffic safety campaign, blocking the box will be a traffic violation with a $90 ticket and one point on your license.

“We really want people to understand it’s not that we want to ticket, we want the traffic to move safely, we want pedestrians to be able to cross safely through intersections, we want bikes to travel safely, we want buses to be on time. All of this goes into how we operate in the infrastructure,” Baltimore Transportation Department Director Michelle Pourciau said.

A law authorizing the penalties was passed last year.

The tickets will be issued by traffic enforcement officers with warnings starting May 1.

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  1. I drive from Towson to downtown Baltimore twice a week in the evenings. There are never any traffic officers anywhere except down near the stadium when the Orioles are playing at home. I have sat through lights at President Street and Lombard because of the traffic. The only police officer I ever see there which is a very bad intersection is the one that stops traffic when you turn the corner to let cars out of the garage there. Who decides where these traffic enforcement officers will be; how are they giving out tickets in a already congested area (are they being pulled over – causing a lane to be eliminated; are they mailing them the ticket; etc.)

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