Bill Includes Protections for Cyclists, Pedestrians, and First Responders

The Massachusetts State Senate recently passed new requirements for cyclists and motorists that promote pedestrian and road safety. State Senator Nick Collins, who represents South Boston, Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park, voted in favor of the bill.

The legislation includes several measures that will greatly improve road safety.  The bill classifies several groups, including pedestrians, utility workers, first responders and cyclists, as vulnerable road users and requires cars to apply a safe passing distance of at least three feet when traveling 30 miles per hour.

The bill would require trucks leased or under contract with the Commonwealth to be equipped with sideguards, and special mirrors to reduce the risk posed to vulnerable road users who are often invisible in blind spots and susceptible to slipping underneath large vehicles during accidents. 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.

“This legislation will make our streets safe for everyone who uses them” said Senator Nick Collins. “The First Suffolk District has unfortunately seen a tragic uptick in traffic accidents, particularly with pedestrians and bicyclists. As our city grows, it is important to implement these common sense reforms in order to save lives and make our communities more walkable and livable.”

That bill now moves to the House for consideration.