Massachusetts Bicycle Safety Legislation

06

Nov

Massachusetts Bicycle Safety Legislation

While our focus is advocacy for cyclists in and around the Providence area, there are many of us who spend time cycling in Massachusetts. A recent post came across the NBW email list that we thought might be of interest.

If you live in MA, you might be interested in the following legislation now in committee on Beacon Hill. Basically, the following letter urges you to contact the committee chairs and your state senators/reps to tell them that you wan this legislation passed. Letter (below) came to me from New Horizon Sports (they sponsor the Great River Ride)

We need your help to get the Massachusetts Bicyclist Safety Bill out of the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. This is essentially the same bill that was passed by both houses of the Legislature last December, and then vetoed by the outgoing administration, forcing us to start over. The bill, Senate 1414, called “An Act Relative to Bicyclist Safety

The key provisions of the bill are: police training on bicycle law; clarification of how to safely pass a bicycle; clarification of how to safely make turns in front of bicycles; “dooring” subject to ticket and fine; riding two abreast permitted when it does not impede cars from passing; improved enforcement of bicycle law for both motorists and bicyclists; and additional legal protections for bicyclists who choose to ride to the right of other traffic.

The Public Safety Committee held a hearing on this bill in June, and MassBike and others testified in support of it. Now we need the Committee to report favorably on the bill, so that it can move to the next step in the legislative process. We are still a few steps away from getting the bill passed again.

Here is what we need you to do:

1. Email the co-chairs of the Public Safety Committee, Senator James Timilty and Representative Michael Costello to ask that S1414, An Act Relative to Bicyclist Safety, be reported favorably.

We have to impress upon the legislature, especially the committee chairs, that there are a significant number of people who support this bill, otherwise it will not get out of committee!

2. Call or email your state representative and your state senator and ask each of them to contact the co-chairs of the Public Safety Committee to say they want S1414, An Act Relative to Bicyclist Safety, reported favorably.

Your participation counts – don’t assume that everyone else will do it!