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Massachusett’s New Bicycle Safety Law

For once, our Governor, Devolve Patrick has actually done something that I approve of.  He passed into law last week the Bicyclist Safety Bill, S-2573 after a long 8 years of being considered.  It was spearheaded by the Mass. Bicycle Coalition (aka, Mass Bike).  It puts Massachusetts on a path to be considered a “bike-friendly’ state, instead of a bunch of Massholes who can’t drive worth a crap.  Here are some of the highlights of the new bill.

  • Require police recruits to recieve training on bicycle-related laws, injuries and some of the dangerous behavior by those idiot bikers and motorists.
  • Allows police to ticket those idiot bikers who flagrantly violate road rules.  If a bicyclist refuses to give their name and address or gives a false one, a fine of between $20 and $50 can be levied on them.  The violation will not go against your car insurance though.
  • Allows police to ticket motorists who open their car doors in the path of oncoming bicyclists.  A fine of up to $100 can be levied (although if you end up in the hospital because someone nailed you with their door, I’m not sure $100 is enough of a fine).
  • In some cases riders will be allowed to ride two abreast if it does not impeded vehicles from passing.  In other cases, single fine is enforced.
  • Provides legal protection to bikers who wish to ride to the right of other traffic (say if they’re stopped for some reason, you can go around…I thought that was already a right of mine.  No?).
  • Requires Bicycle rental stores to make helmets readily available to their customers.

All in all, these should be good for the road biker to which half of my season is devoted to.  For the other half and to my mountain biker friends, these only apply when we get lost or stuck on a road because the mud was too deep to get through.

Give me your comments on this new law!  Is it good, bad, indifferent?

Later,

Slim

2003 Specialized Enduro Expert
2005 Specialized Roubaix Elite Double

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