Legislation

Below are the state level bills that have been filed which MassBike supports for the 192nd legislative session, related to road safety, electric bicycles and bike commuting, and funding for rail trails.

An Act to reduce traffic fatalities

Filed by: Representative Mike Moran (18th Suffolk) and Representative William Straus (10th Bristol) // Senator William Brownsberger (Second Suffolk and Middlesex)

Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.3549 and S.2273

What this legislation does:

  • Requires "safe passing distance" to be 3+ feet at 30MPH or more
  • Lowers the default speed limit on state highways and parkways in thickly settled areas from 30 mph to 25 mph
  • Requires state-contracted trucks to be equipped with safety side-guards, mirrors, and backup cameras (in House version with Rep Moran) to reduce fatalities of people walking and biking
  • Defines ‘vulnerable road users’ to include people walking and biking; roadside workers; people using wheelchairs, scooters, skateboards, roller skates, etc.
  • Develops a standardized analysis tool to be used to report crashes and incidents involving a person biking or walking

 

An Act relative to automated enforcement

Filed by: Representative Michelle Ciccolo (15th Middlesex) for H.2426 and Representative Paul Tucker (7th Essex) for H.2532 // Senator William Brownsberger (Second Suffolk and Middlesex)

Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.2426 and H.2532 and S.1545

What this legislation does:

  • Enables a municipality to determine where cameras should be placed, within certain density and safety parameters
  • Provides restrictions around use and dissemination of images in order to protect drivers’ and vehicle owners’ privacy
  • Determines a maximum penalty of $25 for each violation, which will not be counted as a criminal conviction and will not be made part of the operating record of the vehicle owner (will not add points to the owner’s license, affect insurance premiums, or result in license revocation).
  • Creates procedures for notifying the public about locations where cameras are in use

 

An Act relative to electric bicycles

Filed by: Representative Dylan Fernandes (Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket) and Representative Steven Owens (29th Middlesex) // Senator Sal DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk)

Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.3457 and S.2309

What this legislation does:

  • Defines electric bicycle and differentiates between low-speed and high-speed electric bicycles
  • Standardizes regulations for electric bicycles, with regulatory control remaining with jurisdictions, landowners, and departments (default would align electric bicycles similarly with regular bicycles, yet offroad trails will be up to individual jurisdictions)
  • Implements additional regulations for Class 3 electric bicycles

 

An Act relative to electric bicycle rebates

Filed by: Representative Natalie Blais (1st Franklin)

Bill Number (192nd Session): H.3262

What this legislation does:

  • Establishes rebates of up to $500 for electric bicycle purchases (and up to $750 for low- and moderate-income consumers), not more than 40% of the retail price of the purchase
  • Directs the Dpt of Energy Resources (DOER) to include electric bicycles in their electric vehicle rebate program
  • Directs an evaluation for whether the rebate takes place at point-of-sale through retailers

An Act relative to commuter transit benefits

Filed by: Representative Tommy Vitolo (15th Norfolk) // Senator John Keenan (Norfolk and Plymouth)

Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.3088 and S.1890

What this legislation does:

  • Adds bicycling to the pre-tax benefits claimed for commuting, amending Section 3 of Chapter 62 of the General Laws, related to taxable income, specifically for costs related to Regional Transit Authority passes, bikeshare membership, purchasing a bicycle (including electric bicycles), repairs and upgrades, and storage.
  • Lowers the cost to write off commuter expenses to $50 (from $150)

An Act authorizing municipalities to expend certain funds for the acquisition of land to be used for rail trails

Filed by: Representative Carmine Gentile (13th Middlesex) and Representative Lindsay Sabadosa (1st Hampshire) // Senator James Eldridge (Middlesex and Worcester)

Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.286 and S.148 

Governor’s Budget: Section 22 – CPA Funds for Rail Trails

What this legislation does:

  • Clarifies that municipalities are allowed to use Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to be used for acquiring federally rail banked right of ways for the development of rail trails