If you drop your candy wrapper on the sidewalk, you can be prosecuted for littering. But the trucking lobby has been fighting hard against a bill introduced into the Maryland legislature that would require truckers to cover "looser loads" - stones and other objects that can fly off a fast-moving truck.

Del. Charles A. Docter (D-Montgomery) sponsored the bill in the House of Delegates. Sen. Howard A. Dennis (R-Montgomery) introduced an indentical measure in the state Senate.

The night before the bill came up in the House committee, members of the committee were guests of the trucking lobby at a lavish dinner. The next day, the committee voted to kill the bill. Later, a member who had voted against the bill moved to reconsider. Thereupon the rule that a simple majority can call for reconsideration was scrapped, and a new rule was instituted calling for a two-thirds majority. The vote to reconsider carried by a majority vote - but not by a two-thirds maajority - so the truckers won again.

The news from the Senate side is better, for the moment, at least.Dennis testified: "The American Automobile Association, the Maryland State Police and, most importantly, our constitutents know only too well the danger posed by trucks that drop loose gravel on the roadway that is kicked up by tires of trucks that pass later. Thus, even if falling gravel does not cause damage when it first drops, it may later pose just as great a threat when it lies on the road. Only by requiring a firmly secured covering that prevents any of the load from spilling can we bring an end to this perennial nightmare."

For some reason the committee listened to Denis rather than to the trucking lobby that holds such power in Annapolis, and it voted 5 to 3 to give the measure a favorable report.

If it approved by the Senate, it will go back to the Hosue, and that ought to be a scene worth watching.