An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities, a broad and sweeping bill directed at improving bicyclist safety in Massachusetts has survived its latest hurdle in the State House but now needs your support.
The bill, S.1905 and H.2877, covers a comprehensive range of critical traffic safety issues, including several pertaining directly to the rights and safety of bicyclists in Boston and across the Commonwealth.
The bill includes provisions relating to bike path crossing, a pet project of our own BikeAttorney.com attorney Andrew Fischer, a three-foot law and increased fines for double parking in bike lanes. Each section addresses current hazards cyclists face and impediments to damage recovery from negligent motorists.
Several elements of the bill have been floated in some form or another during prior legislative sessions. These efforts always stalled, typically an unfortunate victim of warring political interests. This bill presents a vital opportunity to protect Massachusetts bicyclists in a comprehensive manner, underscore their rights on the road and allow meaningful recourse against those who disregard their lives.
The Act (which we also credit in large part to the efforts of state and local Vision Zero coalitions and cycling advocacy groups like MassBike) would help reduce overall traffic deaths in the Commonwealth through a host of changes, including:
- Amending the state’s texting-and-driving law;
- Improving signage for bicyclists and pedestrians;
- Requiring side guards on trucks contracted with the state;
- Raising awareness of drowsy driving;
- Introducing a traffic safety curriculum in public schools.
State senators and representatives need to hear from constituents that now is the time to act. The deadline for legislative action was extended, meaning voters have from now until March 2nd to contact their lawmakers and voice support for S.1905 and H.2877. Continue reading