[*BCM*] [Fwd: Re: [massbike] Globe: Bicyclists are entitled to use the entire lane of traffic]
Jeffrey L. Rosenblum
rosenblum.jeff at gmail.com
Sun May 18 21:37:06 EDT 2008
FYI, more accurate details. jeff
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [massbike] Globe: Bicyclists are entitled to use the
entire lane of traffic
Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 21:31:33 -0400
From: John S. Allen <jsallen at bikexprt.com>
To: rosenblum.jeff at gmail.com
At 08:43 PM 5/18/2008, Jeffrey Rosenblum wrote:
> "Bicyclists are entitled to use the entire lane of traffic, not just
> the margin, so long as they're in the right-most lane."
> nice that this was included in his list!
But the author doesn't have it right. Bicyclists (or any driver) are
entitled to the use of the entire lane in any lane except when able to
give way safely to the right to allow naother to overtake, but must stay
in the right lane except when passing or turning left.
Chapter 89, section 4B. Driving in lane nearest right side of way
Upon all ways the driver of a vehicle shall drive in the lane
nearest the right side of the way when such lane is available for
travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for
a left turn. When the right lane has been constructed or designated
for purposes other than ordinary travel, a driver shall drive his
vehicle in the lane adjacent to the right lane except when
overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for a left or right
turn; provided, however, that a driver may drive his vehicle in such
right lane if signs have been erected by the department of highways
permitting the use of such lane.
Chapter 89: Section 2. Passing vehicle traveling in same direction
Section 2. Except as herein otherwise provided, the driver of a
vehicle passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction
shall drive a safe distance to the left of such other vehicle; and,
if the way is of sufficient width for the two vehicles to pass, the
driver of the leading one shall not unnecessarily obstruct the
other. Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted,
the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in
favor of the overtaking vehicle on visible signal and shall not
increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the
The driver of a vehicle may, if the roadway is free from obstruction
and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles,
overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle when the vehicle
overtaken is (a) making or about to make a left turn, (b) upon a
one-way street, or (c) upon any roadway on which traffic is
restricted to one direction of movement.
These Massachusetts laws are unusual -- other states don't restrict
drivers to the right lane nearly as much, but most restrict bicyclists more.
And, as the writer's confusion highlights, Massachusetts traffic laws
are poorly organized and difficult to interpret.
See http://www.bikexprt.com/massfacil/laws/kearney.htm for a discussion
of the oddity of the Massachusetts right-lane use law.
See http://bicycledriving.org/law/guide-to-improving-laws for a
discussion of the laws of the different states.bos
I am sending this message separately to massbike and to the massbike
Boston discussion list to avoid bounces in replies. I do not subscribe
to the critical mass list. Jeff, you may forward to that list if you wish.
John S. Allen
7 University Park
Waltham, MA 02453-1523 USA
jsallen at bikexprt.com
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