Transportation Committee Redraft: An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

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.

Section 3:

Lowers default speed limit on state highways and parkways in thickly settled or business districts from 30mph to 25mph.

Section 4:

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.

Section 7:

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.

Sections 8-10:

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.

 

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

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6 Comments

  1. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S1905/BillHistory

    Looks like they’re jamming though traffic cameras. My biggest concern is depriving the citizens of the Commonwealth of property without due process.

    *They just have to mail the ticket without confirmation of receipt so what happens when the post office loses your mail?
    *The hearing officer is a representative of the police and has final say, does that even sound like a fair forum?
    * If you want to go ahead of the appeal you’ll need to spend several hundred dollars for court fees, service fees, transcripts etc. to fight a $50 ticket
    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleIII/Chapter30A/Section14

    Don’t be naive here, the working class citizens of the Commonwealth with be fleeced with these $50 tickets with no reasonable forum or process to fight them.

    (g) Notice of violation shall be sent by first class mail in accordance with subsection (f) and shall include an affidavit form approved by the police department for the purpose of complying with subsection (b). A manual or automatic record of mailing processed by or on behalf of the police department in the ordinary course of business shall be prima facie evidence thereof, and shall be admitted as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding, as to the facts contained therein.

    (i) Any owner to whom a notice of violation has been issued may, within 60 days of the mailing of said notice by the police department, request a hearing to contest the liability alleged in said notice. A hearing request shall be made either personally, via the internet or through a duly authorized agent by appearing before the police department during regular business hours or by mailing a request in writing to the police department. Upon receipt of a hearing request, the police department shall forthwith schedule the matter before a person hereafter referred to as a hearing officer, said hearing officer to be the police department of the city or town wherein the violation occurred or such other person or persons as the police department may designate. Written notice of the date, time and place of said hearing shall be sent by first class mail to each registered owner. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final subject to judicial review as outlined by section 14 of Chapter 30A of the General Laws. Within twenty-one days of the hearing, the police department or the hearing officer should send by first class mail to the registered owner or owners the decision of the hearing officer, including the reasons for the outcome.

    1. The automated enforcement sections were left out of the bill that was redrafted by the Transportation Committee. You can see a summary of what was reported here. The new bill number is S.2362.

      Andrew Bettinelli
      Chief of Staff
      Office of Senator Brownsberger

      1. Thanks for clarifying Andrew, the initial text for s.2362 wasn’t pulling up on the site and I clicked on s.1905 instead. In any case, I’m glad the automated camera provisions were removed from the latest draft.

  2. These are good things here, but we know without enforcement of those items that were addressed by automated ticketing, we will not see real improvement. We routinely hear that there are not enough police to enforce during the critical times – school travel and commuter times. How will they enforce 3 foot distances on two moving parties? Police say it is difficult to prove texting use vs GPS, the same is true of the 5 minute idling limits, and also difficult to catch are those that pass stopped school buses. We cite cars through the toll booths that don’t pay, is there any hope for particular areas at least, like school zones? We have crossing guards hit in the line of duty. Flashing lights and static signs are not sufficing.

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