Senate to Take Up Bike Safety Legislation on Thursday, April 25th
As previously noted, the Massachusetts Senate is advancing legislation that it passed last session early in this session to put pressure on the House to act this session. One of those items that passed last session was the traffic safety / bike safety legislation; legislation that includes the requirement for those companies with state contracts to have convex/concave mirrors and lateral sideguards. Accordingly, the Senate will be taking up this legislation on Thursday, April 25th. You will remember TAM has continued to work with the Senate sponsor and other officials to minimize the impact of this legislation. Of note: (a) the legislation contains an exemption we had fought for last session in that the RMV will have the authority to decide whether certain vehicles will be exempt from the lateral sideguard requirement (see lines 49-51)(note: the Senate resisted naming vehicle types specifically, but recognized certain vehicles cannot be fit with sideguards … therefore the RMV may exempt it); (b) the legislation also contains an exemption for the RMV to decide what constitutes meeting the convex/concave/lateral sideguard requirement (See lines 54-55: “The registrar may provide alternative means of compliance with the convex mirror, crossover mirror and lateral protective device requirements.”); (c) the requirements of this legislation only applies to contracts entered into with the Commonwealth after January 1, 2024 (line 99) and, (d) finally, according to the way it is written “shall not apply to a motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer or semi-trailer unit that is operated under a contract with the commonwealth that was entered into before January 1, 2024” (See lines 82-84). While it remains to be seen what the House will do with this legislation, the Senate is pushing to get this legislation done; hence, the early session to pass it. To their credit, Senator Brownsberger and his staff have actually been very thoughtful in hearing our concerns and incorporating the aforementioned items. Also, Senator Tarr, the Senate Minority Leader deserves recognition because his office has worked with us regularly to make sure the impact is minimized.