Senator Brownsberger, Rep. Rogers, Rep. Hecht, several other legislators and a coalition of bicycle, pedestrian and transportation advocates worked to develop, An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities, which included several different measures to improve road safety. The Joint Committee on Transportation recently reported favorably a redraft of the bill, which has been sent to the Committee on Ways and Means.
This committee redraft includes:
Sections 1 & 2:
Requires state owned and state contracted trucks to be equipped with sideguards between their front and rear wheels to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from falling underneath the chassis if impacted. Also requires convex and crossover mirrors.
Lowers default speed limit on state highways and parkways in thickly settled or business districts from 30mph to 25mph.
Requires EOPSS, in consultation with DPH and MassDOT, to develop a standardized reporting tool be used by a first responder called to the scene of a pedestrian or cyclist crash or incident.
Sections 5 & 6:
Requires bicyclists to use both a rear red light and red reflector when riding at night.
Establishes that a motor vehicle must yield to a bicyclist at an intersection of a bicycle path and a road, so long as the crossing is marked in accordance with MassDOT standards.
Defines several different road users, including bicyclists and pedestrians, as vulnerable road users. Requires motor vehicles to pass vulnerable road at a distance of at least three feet when traveling at 30mph or less, with an additional foot of clearance required for every 10 mph that the vehicle is traveling above 30mph. Allows motor vehicles to cross a double yellow line into an adjacent travel lane, when it is safe to do so, if needed to achieve a safe passing distance.
Chief of Staff
Office of Senator William N. Brownsberger