I guess I’ve not been too politically astute to have not heard of this before but there is a bill before the Massachusetts House of Representatives called the Bicyclist’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. This legislation would overhaul the rules regarding bicycles and help insure that all vehicles can share the roads safely.
There’s more information at MassBike from which I’ve copied this summary of the bill:
- clarify that bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers, rather than merely saying that bicyclists have to follow the traffic rules
- clarify that motorists must wait until it is safe to pass bicyclists, and must not return to the right side until safely passed
- give bicyclists the right to ride side by side, where appropriate
- require people to wait until its safe before opening car doors into traffic
- require training courses on bicycle safety and laws for police officers
- recommend the posting of Share the Road signs where appropriate
- prevent the posting of bicycles prohibited signs, except on Interstate-type highways
- make the ticketing procedure for bicyclists the same as for motorists and increase the maximum fine from $20 to $50
- require motorists to follow existing law when turning right (move as far as practicable to the right before turning), rather than turning across the path of a bicyclist.
I emailed the speaker and my representative. If you happen to live in Massachusetts and you happen to read this, please do so as well.