In recent years, cyclists have been gaining more respect with lawmakers on Beacon Hill. As a result of this recognition, numerous changes and additions have been made to the previously existing bike laws in MA. On January 15, 2009, Governor Deval Patrick signed the “Bicyclist Safety Bill” into law. The immediately effective law has made various changes to the Massachusetts Bike Laws.
Importantly, the new MA bike law contains statutory changes which pertain to cyclists. The new law contains a provision which attempts to promote safer signaling. While cyclists are required to use hand signals when stopping or turning, as was the case prior to the new provision, they are now explicitly not required to use hand signals if keeping both hands on the handlebars is necessary in order to safely maneuver the bicycle. Furthermore, the new bike law also permits cyclists to ride two abreast unless a faster vehicle is attempting to pass.
In addition to making changes in the law as it pertains to cyclists, the Massachusetts Bike Law also contains several provisions that modify the existing law affecting operators of motor vehicles. The new bike law prohibits drivers from “squeezing” cyclists. If the traffic lane is too narrow for a motor vehicle operator to pass a cyclist, the driver must utilize a different lane or wait until it is safe to pass the rider. Moreover, an operator of a motor vehicle must yield to cyclists prior to making a left or a right turn.
Another change in the Massachusetts Bicycle Laws following the enactment of the new law is that motor vehicle operators may not “right-hook” bicyclists. The MA bike law punishes motorists that make right turns in close proximity to a cyclist which force the cyclist to crash or make an emergency maneuver. Moreover, the MA bicyclist safety law includes a civil penalty for motorist who “door” bicyclists. “Dooring” occurs when a motorist opens his or her vehicle’s door into the path of cyclists.
Avid cyclists often understand the risks associated with riding, especially in congested areas such as Cambridge and Boston. Yet even when cyclists ride with the utmost caution, the risk of injury is ever present. While the newly enacted MA bicyclist safety law aims to reduce the probability of sustaining an injury while bicycling, the risk of harm is never completely eliminated. If you have been injured in a bike accident, it may be in your best interests to contact an experienced Massachusetts bike accident attorney.Greater Boston Bike Accident Attorneys at the Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP
At Altman & Altman, LLP, our skillful Massachusetts bike lawyers have been providing outstanding legal representation to injured clients for over four decades. Our MA bike attorneys understand the enormous impact that a bike accident has on victims and their families. With this in mind, our firm will handle every aspect of your case and will field all of your legal questions in order to put your mind at ease. Our dedicated team of Boston Bike Accident Lawyers, through our collective experience, knowledge, and expertise in the courtroom, will advocate on your behalf in order for you to receive the compensation that you are entitled to for:
- Medical Bills;
- Lost Wages;
- Loss of Future Earnings;
- Pain and Suffering;
- Cost to Repair or Replace the Bicycle.
At the MA law firm of Altman & Altman, we realize that victims of bike accidents are often faced with an enormous amount of physical and financial stress following their accident. If an acceptable settlement cannot be reached, our Greater Boston bike lawyers will not hesitate to take your case to trial. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in claims, settlements, and jury awards on behalf of our clients.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident, please contact the law firm of Altman & Altman to schedule a Free Initial Consultation with one of our experienced Bike Accident Lawyers. Our phones are answered 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. In addition, all emails sent to the firm receive an immediate response.
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