New Massachusetts law protecting bicyclists, pedestrians takes effect

BOSTON — A new road safety law took effect this weekend in Massachusetts aimed at protecting people who aren’t driving cars.

Drivers are now required to leave at least four feet of space while passing anyone on or near a road who isn’t in a car.

The new law includes the following list of “vulnerable users”:

  • People walking and biking
  • Roadside workers
  • People using wheelchairs
  • Motorized bicycles, scooters, skateboards, roller skates, and other micromobility devices
  • Horse riders and horse-drawn carriages
  • Farm equipment

The new four-foot passing rule will be taught in drivers education classes.

Senator William Brownsberger, who helped pass the law, said it most likely won’t be routinely enforced by police.

It also requires bicyclists to use rear red lights at night to ensure they’re visible on roads, in addition to having a white headlight and a rear reflector.

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