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Questionable laws: You may not curse on the street

By Alpert Schreyer on July 19, 2016

Road rageSome laws are what you might call necessary – vital to society. Important in keeping people safe.

Some laws – not so much.

In the city of Rockville, Maryland, the seat of Montgomery County that makes up part of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, it’s a misdemeanor to swear while on or near a roadway.

A silly, anachronistic dang law

You have to think this law is seldom enforced. The law reads:

Sec. 13-53. Profanity; violation of section declared misdemeanor.

(a) A person may not profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk or highway within the hearing of persons passing by, upon or along such street, sidewalk or highway.

(b) A person may not act in a disorderly manner by profanely cursing, swearing or using obscene language.

(c) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Laws of Rockville, Ch. 12, § 12-1.00)

Cross references: Punishment for misdemeanors, § 1-10.

State law references: Profanity, Anno. Code of Md., Art. 27, §§ 121, 122.

Road rage

Profanity is a staple of road rage. The city’s roughly 61,000 residents may not even be aware of it, but if they lose their cool in traffic they could be breaking one of their city’s more superfluous laws. Bottle it up or whisper it under your breath when driving through Rockville, folks.

If a recent survey by is to be trusted, women would have more trouble following this anti-cursing law than men.

The survey says that men are more likely to employ their horn in letting a slow driver know they are annoyed, whereas women more often swear, even with kids in the car. Women are also more likely to give a bothersome driver the finger.

Food for thought.

On a more serious note, road rage is dangerous and can lead people to behave with such a lack of regard for others’ safety that it constitutes negligence.

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a crash that was the fault of a negligent driver, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC for your free case evaluation. We will listen to you, review your case, and get you the compensation you deserve.


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