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The original item was published from 4/25/2023 2:10:01 PM to 6/30/2023 4:05:01 PM.

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Posted on: April 25, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Massachusetts' Vulnerable Road Users Law

4 feet law

On April 1, 2023, Massachusetts passed the new "Vulnerable Road Users" law.  You can review the entire Bill H.5103 signed by the Governor, or the neat one page overview of the law from MassBike, but here are the three main areas you need to know if you use the roads in Massachusetts:

1. Vulnerable users are defined in Massachusetts General Laws under Chapter 90, section 1 as:

  • People walking and biking 
  • Roadside workers 
  • People using wheelchairs
  • Scooters, skateboards, roller skates, and other micro mobility devices
  • Horse-drawn carriages
  • Farm equipment 

2. Drivers will need to provide a “safe passing distance” of at least 4 feet when passing vulnerable road users. Motorists are explicitly allowed to cross a double-yellow line in order to pass “when it is safe to do so and adhering to the roadway speed limit.”  (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 section 14)

3. Bicyclists will now be required to use a front white light and rear red light and rear reflector when riding at night. (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 85 section 11B, clause 8)

There are other sections of this law that address speed limits, enforcement, and truck equipment, but these are the three main points that will effect most road users every day.  Everyone's safety is a top priority so please make sure you are familiar with this new law so all road users can remain safe.  Thank you. 

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