REDUCED TRAFFIC FATALITIES AND PROTECT PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS (H 5103)

By Bob Katzen

Gov. Baker signed into law a bill that would protect vulnerable road users which includes pedestrians, construction workers, emergency responders bicyclists, skateboarders, roller skaters and wheelchair users. A key provision requires vehicle drivers, when passing a vulnerable user, to pass at a safe distance of not less than 4 feet.

Other provisions include establishing a process to request the lowering of the default speed limit to 25 mph on state highways in a community; clarifying the process for modifying special limits that apply on some roads; requiring higher-visibility mirrors and lateral sideguards on certain state-owned, state-operated and state-contracted trucks; creating a uniform reporting tool for crashes involving a pedestrian or cyclist; and requiring bicyclists to have red rear lights.

“This bill reflects over 10 years of collaborative effort among people who care about road safety,” said sponsor Sen. Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont). “I’m so glad we could get it to governor’s desk again. I feel the final bill is as strong as what we originally submitted. It will save lives on the roads.”

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