This Thursday, the state Joint Committee on Transportation will hold a hearing on a range of road safety bills, including some of our legislative priorities. Help us secure passage of these key measures!
Joint Committee on Transportation Hearing
Thursday, March 28 // 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Massachusetts State House, Room A2 (Directions available here)
As part of the Vision Zero Coalition, we’ve long promoted these policies, and are optimistic they’ll pass this year.
Thanks to the hundreds of you who turned out for January’s Day of Action for Road Safety and elevated these issues, this hearing has been scheduled earlier in the two-year session than we’ve ever seen before. In past years, road safety legislation has faltered not for lack of support, but rather lack of time. Help us capitalize on that momentum!
Here’s how you can help:
- Contact the committee — Thank the committee for prioritizing this hearing, and urge lawmakers to move forward with two bills in particular: hands-free, and An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities. You can find more info on those bills, and a sample script, below. There is limited time for public comment during the hearing, so submitting your feedback in writing will ensure your voice is heard.
- Attend Thursday’s hearing — Show your support for road safety legislation. Though speaking time will be limited, a visual show of strength will not go unnoticed by the committee. (Members of the Vision Zero Coalition, including Bike Union Executive Director Becca Wolfson, are scheduled to speak, so you can be sure the committee will hear from us on Thursday, too.)
About the Legislation
Hands-free — This legislation will improve the current law against texting-while-driving, which is difficult for officers to enforce, by requiring any use of mobile devices while driving to be hands-free. Learn more here.
An Act to reduce traffic fatalities — This bill would achieve several traffic safety goals including equipping state and state-contracted trucks with safety side guards, setting a safe passing distance of at least three feet, lowering speed limits on state roads, and more. The Bike Union is particularly invested in the truck safety component; of the 18 cyclist fatalities in Boston and Cambridge over the past few years, 12 involved collisions with trucks. Learn more here.
SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR EMAIL
Recommended email subject: Support for traffic safety legislation
Dear Senator Boncore and Representative Straus,
I am writing to thank you for holding a hearing on legislation that promotes traffic safety in Massachusetts. Because of your leadership, we have the opportunity to make our roads safer and prevent traffic deaths.
I hope you will give a favorable report for hands-free legislation (S.2057/H.3149 and H.3179) and An Act to reduce traffic fatalities (S.2042/H.3118 and H3092). Please consider and submit the following as written testimony before the Committee.
[Talk about why this issue matters to you.]
I urge you to move forward with these important bills that will protect the most vulnerable road users, reduce traffic deaths and make streets safer for everyone. Other measures, like mandating helmets and hi-viz clothing, put the onus on these same vulnerable road users and do not address the underlying causes of crashes.
Thank you again for your support.
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