By Bob Katzen
The House gave initial approval to legislation that would raise from $35 to $200 the fine for violating the traffic rule that provides when two vehicles approach or enter an intersection at approximately the same instant, the operator of the vehicle on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right. The proposal also imposes additional penalties and/or license revocation for up to six months for any of these violations that cause death, serious bodily harm or bodily harm.
Sponsor and former police officer Rep. Tim Whelan (R-Brewster) noted the bill has been filed for 12 years and is named “Cecelia’s Law” in memory of a young lady from Sagamore who was killed when sometime turned in front of her and caused a fatal crash.
“Failing to grant the right of way to oncoming vehicles is one of the leading factors in personal injury motorcycle crashes,” said Whelan. “[The bill] addresses all road users such as, and including, pedestrians, bicycle riders, horseback riders, motorcycle riders and automobile operators at no cost to the commonwealth. As a police officer for over 40 years, I recognize the importance of traffic laws combating poor driving decisions, distracted driving and reckless behavior behind the wheel. Having seen firsthand the harm that can come from motor vehicles, it is this potential for danger that calls for laws encouraging safe driving practices to keep all in our commonwealth safe.”