Baker publicizes new street security proposals that embrace cracking down on driving with out a seat belt

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BOSTON (WHDH) – In effort to enhance street security in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday filed laws that will crack down on motorists who don’t put on a seat belt and enhance penalties for individuals who trigger private damage whereas driving.

The invoice, “An Act Relative to Improving Safety on the Roads of the Commonwealth,” contains provisions beforehand filed by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2019, in addition to a lot of new proposals.

“These proposals will make Massachusetts roadways and streets safer for all travelers and will help reduce roadway fatalities across the state,” Baker mentioned. “This legislative package builds upon laws enacted in 2019 to prevent and enforce distracted driving, and we look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to take additional steps to improve road safety.”

If the laws is permitted, regulation enforcement can be allowed to cease drivers for not sporting a seat belt and communities can be permitted to position purple gentle cameras at intersections and on state-owned roads.

One other part of the invoice, “Haley’s Law,” is known as after Haley Cremer, a Sharon native who died on the age of 20 after she was struck by a driver with a license that had been suspended 3 times.

Cremer was jogging down a street within the city in June 2014 when she was fatally struck. The motive force who hit her was convicted of solely a misdemeanor offense and spent simply a few years behind bars.

Underneath the brand new invoice, motorists with a suspended license who’re discovered accountable for deadly crashes would resist 10 years in jail.

The total listing of proposed modifications is as follows:

  • Main Seatbelt: permits regulation enforcement to cease motorists for not sporting a seatbelt.
  • Haley’s Legislation: will increase penalties for people who trigger private damage whereas driving on a non-administratively suspended license. New provisions would create three ranges of recent “aggravating factors” to driving whereas suspended: 1) Driving negligently/recklessly: fantastic as much as $1,000 and as much as 5 years in jail; 2) Inflicting “serious bodily injury:” fantastic up $3,000 and home of correction as much as 2.5 years; and three) Inflicting demise: fantastic as much as $5,000 and necessary 2 years to a most of 10 years in jail. Present statute merely penalizes for driving whereas suspended.
  • Site visitors Digital camera Enforcement Native Choice: permits localities to position purple gentle cameras at intersections (and the Division of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)/MassDOT-owned roads that function native roads with DCR/MassDOT permission). Cameras can be restricted to accumulating pictures solely upon a violation and solely of the car license plates. Violations would come with operating a purple gentle and making an unlawful activate a purple gentle.
  • Bicycle Protected Passing: requires a driver to take care of a Three foot “safe passing distance” and to journey at a velocity that’s cheap and correct when passing a bicyclist or pedestrian when there isn’t any bodily separation (corresponding to a protected bike lane or curb). Thirty-six different states have “safe distance” necessities.
  • Business Driver’s License (CDL) Adjustments: a refile of beforehand filed modifications to the state’s CDL legal guidelines, which embrace updates to evolve to federal regulation.
  • Crash Information Reporting: proposes including to reporting necessities crash info involving “a vulnerable user,” a time period which would come with pedestrians, bicyclists, public works or public security personnel working in the proper of manner, people on farm tractors, and customers of different mobility units corresponding to scooters and in-line skates. Present statute requires drivers to report any crashes leading to severe bodily damage, demise, or property injury in extra of $1000. This reporting on crashes involving susceptible customers will help municipalities and state transportation entities to determine downside areas or rising tendencies.
  • Aspect Guards and Extra Mirrors: requires all Commonwealth-owned and operated autos over 10,000 kilos to have aspect guards, convex mirrors and cross-over mirrors. Moreover, all Commonwealth and municipal contractors can be required to have these units by January 1, 2024. Aspect guards defend bicyclists and pedestrians from being swept beneath giant autos, which may occur, for instance, when autos are making tight turns at intersections. The convex mirrors complement the aspect guards.
  • Low-Pace Mobility System Advisory Working Group: given the expansion in use and acceptance of micro-mobility options like electrical scooters and bicycles, and their unclear standing in state regulation and native regulation, this invoice requires MassDOT to convene an advisory group to advocate a brand new statutory framework to make sure secure use whereas encouraging these low-carbon transportation options.

Public Security Secretary Thomas Turco mentioned that decreasing the variety of deaths on Bay State roads is a serious precedence.

“Preventing roadway injuries and fatalities is a priority for all of us at EOPSS,” Turco mentioned. “These common-sense proposals are important to make sure that drivers, passengers, and vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bicyclists can all get home safely.”

Appearing Secretary of Transportation Jamey Tesler added, “Crashes due to distracted driving, speeding, and other unsafe driving behaviors, continue to occur on Massachusetts roadways despite reduced driving levels during the pandemic, and these proposals will help refocus and change current driving habits and behaviors to ensure that individuals remain safe.”

In 2020, 334 roadway deaths have been reported in Massachusetts.

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