An Act to reduce traffic fatalities

Senator Brownsberger, Representatives Rogers and Hecht along with several other legislators and a coalition of bicycle, pedestrian and transportation advocates worked together to develop a bill, An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities, which includes several measures to improve road safety. This comprehensive road safety bill includes:

• childhood bicycle education
• large vehicle safety equipment improvements
• hands-free cellphone law
• lower speed limits on certain state roads
• defines a safe passing distance for vulnerable road users — bicycles, pedestrians
• limited authorization for automated enforcement cameras
• a statewide standardized crash report for first responders
• mandatory rear red light for cyclists biking at night
• other changes to the traffic laws to promote bicycle safety

I have included a section by section summary here.

Andrew Bettinelli
Chief of Staff
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

10 replies on “An Act to reduce traffic fatalities”

  1. Looks good for the most part. A couple of comments:

    1. Why require both a tail light and a rear reflector? If you have a working tail light, isn’t the reflector superfluous?

    2. The concept of cyclists being able to go straight through a red light when there is no road to the right makes sense. That’s topologically about the same as a right turn on red. But why should a cyclist be able to turn left, across both oncoming traffic and traffic that may be coming from the left?

  2. In my point of view, Invest in public transportation is the ultimate solution to reduce traffic fatalities. We are all stressed in our daily commute because of the defunctional MBTA system.

  3. And another thought, how should we prepare for the increase level of DOI once recreational marijuana is legal. I am riding the redline with a couple individuals severely inflicted by pots. Their behavior is a public nuisance in the train. I can even smell pot in the train.

    Once people affected by commercial POT producers get behind the steering wheel, let’a all brace for the increased level of accidents and death rates.

  4. Thank you Will for introducing this bill and all the other good work you do. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to you last night at Beacon Street Forum. I was too busy talking about the proposed Back Bay gas pipeline which requires DOT approval because part of the proposed route apparently goes along state roads. I will send you a press release in a moment that our group sent to Boston Sun and Boston Guardian.

  5. Why only biker red light compliance at night? The so-called “Idaho stop” is unsafe at any time and encourages bikers to flout traffic laws.

  6. In my experience, only rarely do cyclists stop at red lights. Also in my experience, I’ve never ever seen a cyclist stop for people in a crosswalk. Not only are these safety considerations but they are also violations of the law. Cyclists are eager to expand their rights in using the public highways. Perhaps it is time to remind cyclists that the rules of the road apply to them too and encourage local police departments to issue tickets to cyclists with the same diligence they issue tickets for moving violations to cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

  7. where is support for off road bike lanes such as those Cambridge is introducing? A painted line on the road is NOT an effective “Designated Bike Lane”. That is the most effective way to reach bike safety and should be a required component of every new or rebuilt road project, especially those with state or federal funding.

  8. Hmmm .. so the DESE is going to spend time and money teaching bike safety? I would think that is the parent’s responsibility when they buy the kid a bike? I would prefer the DESE to focus on academics. Alos, why allow riders to ride through red lights? That is only going to encourage bad rider behavior – maybe the law should also require riders should have an organ donor card on them when riding. At least bad ridership can benefit others in need of an organ..

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