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State's Bicyclist Safety Bill Signed

Published January 20, 2009

BOSTON, MA (BRAIN)—Massachusets Governor Deval Patrick has signed the Bicyclist Safety Bill into law, recognizing the importance of bicycling to the people of Massachusetts, particularly the growing role of bicycling in our transportation system.

The new law adds police training on bicycle law and dangerous behavior by bicyclists and motorists; explains how a motorist should safely pass a bicycle; explains how a motorist should safely make a turn in front of a bicycle; makes "dooring" (opening a car door into the path of a bicycle or other vehicle) subject to ticket and fine; permits bicyclists to ride two abreast when it doesn't impede cars from passing; and adds legal protections for bicyclists who choose to ride to the right of other traffic.

"The new law will encourage more people to ride bicycles by enhancing bicyclist safety and comfort level on Massachusetts roads," said David Watson, executive director of MassBike, the bicycling advocacy group that shepherded the bill forward for eight years. "On behalf of all Massachusetts bicyclists, MassBike thanks our many supporters in the House and Senate for their persistence,
and thanks Governor Patrick for recognizing that this law will help make Massachusetts a healthier, greener, more sustainable state."

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