This bill was introduced by Senator Brownsberger after a woman on a motorized scooter, Allison Warmuth, was struck and killed by a duck boat in Boston, on April 30th, 2016. The Bike Union got involved in promoting this legislation because people biking have an identical vulnerability to being killed by these large vehicles. Not only did we push for this to pass, we had the pleasure of introducing the Warmuths to Senator Brownsberger who worked with them to craft the legislation. We know that this type of crash could have been prevented if these measures were already in place, and now we have the chance to prevent this type of tragic crash from happening again.
After passing in the House and Senate, a bill that mandates several safety changes to Duck Boats was signed into law by Governor Baker last Thursday afternoon! Starting April 1, 2017 all amphibious vehicles (duck boats) will have to have two operators — a driver and someone separate to give tours. Additionally, the law requires cameras and proximity sensors to address the significant blind spots on these vehicles.
We’re in deep admiration of Ivan and Martha Warmuth, who fought tirelessly in advocating for this bill to honor their daughter’s memory. The passage of this bill is significant for Vision Zero efforts and taking steps that can prevent fatalities and serious injuries on our streets.
Similarly, large trucks are a known danger to people biking in the urban environment and we are committed to continuing to advocate for passage of legislation as well as other measures to lessen the threats they pose.