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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Also in MA, 'Move Over' Bill Signed Into Law

Here's the press release from MA's Statewide Towing Association:

On December 22, 2008, Governor Patrick signed Senate No. 2103, An Act Relative to Operating a Motor Vehicle When Approaching Stationary Emergency Vehicles, into law. The passage of the “Move Over Law” will protect roadside service workers and public safety officials on our highways. The law will go into effect in 90 days.

The legislation requires motorists to move over one traffic lane when approaching a stationary emergency roadside vehicle if it is safe to do so. If the volume of vehicles on the roadway does not allow for a safe lane shift, then the motorist is required to reduce their speed to a reasonable and safe level for road conditions. Violators will be faced with a ticket up to $100.00.

Statewide Towing Association, Inc., advocated for the passage of this law. With many incidents over the past years involving tow truck operators passage of this bill was a priority for the 2007-2008 legislative session. In 2004 STA began working with the legislature on this issue. In the coming year, we will work to inform the motoring public of this new law and the necessary protection it provides those who work to keep the roadways clear and travel as safe as possible.

The Statewide Towing Association provides training and education, driver certification and safety awareness for the industry and employees. As the second oldest such organization in the country, the Statewide Towing Association is considered one of the leaders in the United States.

For more information about our association, visit www.statewidetowing.org.

Here's the story from wickedlocal.com:

Dover - State Sen. Jim Timilty, D-Walpole, has announced that Governor Deval Patrick recently signed Senate No. 2103, An Act Relative to Operating a Motor Vehicle When Approaching Stationary Emergency Vehicles, into law. The passage of the so-called “Move Over” Bill brings the commonwealth in line with 43 other states by protecting roadside service workers and public safety officials on our highways.

The legislation, sponsored by Timilty, requires motorists to move over one traffic lane when approaching a stationary emergency roadside vehicle if it is safe to do so. If the volume of vehicles on the roadway does not allow for a safe lane shift, then the motorist is required to reduce their speed to a reasonable and safe level for road conditions.

“I am very proud to have been a part of the passage of this lifesaving legislation. State Police officers and roadside assistance workers are out there at every hour of every day, often with less than 3 feet of room between their back and oncoming traffic.” said Timilty. “While many may consider this a matter of common courtesy, it has become far too uncommon and quite simply, people’s lives are at risk because of it.”

AAA Southern New England and the State Police Association of Massachusetts were instrumental partners in advocating for the passage of this law. With recent accidents involving state troopers and AAA tow truck drivers, both organizations had the passage of this bill on the top of their priority list for the 2007-2008 legislative session. In the coming year, they will work in collaboration to inform citizens of this new law and the vital protection it provides those who work to make highway travel as safe as possible.

“The commonwealth has taken an important step toward ensuring the public’s safety with this new law,” said Rick Brown, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts. “Troopers across the commonwealth are grateful for the added protection that has the potential to save the lives of those on the side of the roadways responding to an emergency.”

“This bill is a tribute to our first responders; police, emergency medical services, tow truck drivers and firefighters. These people put their lives literally on the line 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help all motorists. AAA Southern New England thanks Senator Timilty for his leadership on this issue,” said Art Kinsman, director of Government Affairs for AAA Southern New England.

The bill moved through the final stages of the legislative process during informal sessions of the Senate and House, and was approved by Governor Patrick 15 days before the close of the 2007-2008 session on Jan. 6, 2009.

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