Advocacy

2017-2018 Legislative Session

We've got a huge bill to pass!

Update as of 3/25/18 ---

Good news!!! The OmniBike Bill An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities has been reported favorably from the Joint Committee on Transportation.

The Committee has approved an updated draft with some changes but the bill will be moving forward. MassBike, alongside the Vision Zero Coalition and our partner advocacy groups, have worked closely with Senator Brownsberger and Representatives Hecht and Rogers to develop a comprehensive traffic safety bill that will prevent crashes and protect vulnerable road users. Even though changes have been made to the bill, we still consider it a strong piece of legislation that will help bicyclists across the state.

To read a summary of the updated bill read our blog post here. Note that because there is a new draft, to track the bill progress it will now be listed under a new bill number. Follow S.2362 for the Senate version and in the next week we should have an updated House number available. 

What's Next?
Next the bill moves to the Ways and Means Committee where the cost to implement the bill will be determined.

What can you do to help? Say thank you!
Send an email to say thank you to the Senators and Representatives who championed this bill. Say thank you to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Transportation and your state legislators (see template email provided below). You can also find out if your legislators are co-sponsors of the bill. Please copy bikeinfo@massbike.org on your email. 

What's an omnibus bill?

An omnibus bill is a proposed law that covers a number of diverse topics. Our hope is that through these measures we can make our roadways safer for our members and the bicycling community, as well as other roadway users.

Here's a summary of the topics covered in the bill:

Summary: An Act to reduce traffic fatalities (Senate Bill #2362 formerly S.1905, House Bill #2877)

  • Sections 1 & 2: Requires state owned and state contracted trucks to be equipped with sideguards between their front and rear wheels to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from falling underneath the chassis if impacted. Also requires convex and crossover mirrors.

  • Section 3: Lowers default speed limit on state highways and parkways in thickly settled or business districts from 30mph to 25mph.

  • Section 4: Requires EOPSS, in consultation with DPH and MassDOT, to develop a standardized reporting tool be used by a first responder called to the scene of a pedestrian or cyclist crash or incident.

  • Sections 5 & 6: Requires bicyclists to use both a rear red light and red reflector when riding at night.

  • Section 7: Establishes that a motor vehicle must yield to a bicyclist at an intersection of a bicycle path and a road, so long as the crossing is marked in accordance with MassDOT standards.

  • Sections 8-10: Defines several different road users, including bicyclists and pedestrians, as vulnerable road users.  Requires motor vehicles to pass vulnerable road at a distance of at least three feet when traveling at 30mph or less, with an additional foot of clearance required for every 10 mph that the vehicle is traveling above 30mph. Allows motor vehicles to cross a double yellow line into an adjacent travel lane, when it is safe to do so, if needed to achieve a safe passing distance.


EMAIL INSTRUCTIONS AND SAMPLE TEXT

To: Joseph.Boncore@masenate.govWilliam.Straus@mahouse.gov

CC: Your State Senator and Representative (if you don't know who they are, click here); bikeinfo@massbike.org

Recommended email subject: Thank you for your support of An Act to reduce traffic fatalities

Sample email text:

Dear Senator Boncore, Representative Straus, and members of the Joint Committee on Transportation,

I am writing to thank you for your support of An Act to reduce traffic fatalities, (S2362 - Brownsberger, H2877 - Hecht and Rogers).

Serious injury and deaths from traffic crashes continue with troubling frequency on our streets. This bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation which aims to create safer streets for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and passengers of motor vehicles. 

[Tell your own story here. Why is this bill important to you?]

Thanks again for your support of legislation to improve the safety on our roads.

[full name
street address
city/town, state, zip
phone:
email: ]


Initial Support

Thanks to a fantastic effort by our members and the cycling community, we secured an outstanding number of co-sponsors and initial support for An Act to reduce traffic fatalities.

Here are the Senators and Representatives who have signed on to the bill:

Senators

Michael Barrett, 3rd Middlesex
Joseph Boncore, 1st Suffolk and Middlesex
William Brownsberger, 2nd Suffolk and Middlesex
Cynthia Stone Creem, 1st Middlesex and Norfolk
Brendan Crighton, 3rd Essex 
Sal DiDomenico, Middlesex and Suffolk
James Eldridge, Middlesex and Worcester
Jennifer Flanagan, Worcester and Middlesex
Kathleen O'Connor Ives, 1st Essex
Patricia Jehlen, 2nd Middlesex
Eric Lesser, 1st Hampden and Hampshire
Jason Lewis, 5th Middlesex
Joan Lovely, 2nd Essex
Thomas McGee, 3rd Essex
Michael Moore, 2nd Worcester
Michael Rush, Norfolk and Suffolk

Representatives

James Arciero, 2nd Middlesex
Brian Michael Ashe, 2nd Hampden
Cory Atkins, 14th Middlesex
Bruce Ayers, 1st Norfolk
Ruth Balser, 12th Middlesex
Christine Barber, 34th Middlesex
Jennifer Benson, 37th Middlesex
Paul Brodeur, 32nd Middlesex
Antonio Cabral, 13th Bristol
Thomas Calter, 12th Plymouth
Gailanne Cariddi, 1st Berkshire
Tackey Chan, 2nd Norfolk
Nicholas Collins, 4th Suffolk
Mike Connolly, 26th Middlesex
Edward Coppinger, 10th Suffolk
Brendan Crighton, 11th Essex
Daniel Cullinane, 12th Suffolk
Marjorie Decker, 25th Middlesex
Diana DiZoglio, 14th Essex
Daniel Donahue, 16th Worcester
William Driscoll, 7th Norfolk
Carolyn Dykema, 8th Middlesex
Tricia Farley-Bouvier, 3rd Berkshire
Sean Garballey, 23rd Middlesex
Denise Garlick, 13th Norfolk
Carmine Gentile, 13th Middlesex
Solomon Goldstein-Rose, 3rd Hampshire
Kenneth Gordon, 21st Middlesex
Danielle Gregoire, 4th Middlesex
Jonathan Hecht, 29th Middlesex
Paul Heroux, 2nd Bristol
Bradford Hill, 4th Essex
Kevin Honan, 17th Suffolk
Dan Hunt, 13th Suffolk
Jay Kaufman, 15th Middlesex
Kay Khan, 11th Middlesex
Peter Kocot, 1st Hampshire
Stephen Kulik, 1st Franklin
John Lawn, 10th Middlesex
Jack Patrick Lewis, 7th Middlesex
Jay Livingstone, 8th Suffolk
Adrian Madaro, 1st Suffolk
John Mahoney, 13th Worcester
Elizabeth Malia, 11th Suffolk
Joseph McGonagle, 28th Middlesex
Paul McMurtry, 11th Norfolk
James Miceli, 19th Middlesex
Aaron Michlewitz, 3rd Suffolk
Rady Mom, 18th Middlesex
David Muradian, 9th Worcester
Mathew Muratore, 1st Plymouth
David Nangle, 17th Middlesex
Sarah Peake, 4th Barnstable
Alice Peisch, 14th Norfolk
Denise Provost, 27th Middlesex
Angelo Puppolo, Jr., 12th Hampden
David Rogers, 24th Middlesex
John Rogers, 12th Norfolk
Jeffrey Roy, 10th Norfolk
Byron Rushing, 9th Suffolk
Dan Ryan, 2nd Suffolk
JohnScibak, 2nd Hampshire
FrankSmizik, 15th Norfolk
Thomas Stanley, 9th Middlesex
William Straus, 10th Bristol
Paul Tucker, 7th Essex
Steven Ultrino, 33rd Middlesex
Aaron Vega, 5th Hampden
John Velis, 4th Hampden
Chris Walsh, 6th Middlesex

 

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