Sen. Sal DiDomenico and his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate recently passed An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities. The bill includes new requirements for cyclists and motorists to promote safety for everyone who uses the road.
Following the vote, Sen. DiDomenico expressed his satisfaction with the Senate passage of the bill and discussed the need for this legislation to become law. “I know how dangerous driving in our Commonwealth can be and how often cyclists and pedestrians are at risk. With the recent uptick in accidents involving cyclists, many of which have happened in my district, it is clear that we must take steps to make our roads safer for all. This bill is an important part of the solution, and I look forward to continue working with my constituents and MassDOT officials to create safer roadways for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike” said DiDomenico.
The bill classifies several groups, including pedestrians, utility workers, first responders and cyclists, as vulnerable road users and requires motor vehicles to apply a safe passing distance of at least three feet when traveling 30 miles per hour or less with an additional foot of clearance required for every 10 miles per hour over 30 miles per hour. The bill would further require trucks and similar large vehicles purchased, leased or under contract with the Commonwealth after a certain date to be equipped with lateral protective devices, convex mirrors and crossover mirrors to reduce the risk posed to vulnerable road users who are susceptible to being unseen by truck driver’s and slipping underneath large vehicles during accidents.
The bill would additionally establish a 25 mile per hour speed limit on an unposted area of state highway or parkway inside a thickly settled or business district within a city or town that has accepted the 25 mile per hour local option, as lower vehicle speeds reduce the possibility and severity of crashes. Finally, the bill increases the flexibility of the Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit in active construction zones thereby significantly increasing the protection provided to vulnerable workers and first responders at the construction site.
An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.