MassBike and Light Brigade 2018: Helping Cyclists Be Seen at Night

Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to support MassBike’s Light Brigade 2018, which delivered bike lights to cyclists who needed a set so they can be visible to drivers. All Photos: Courtesy of MassBike Light Brigade 2018 Facebook Photo Album

We want to say job well done to MassBike for helping cyclists ride safely at night in Massachusetts. Over the past few weeks, MassBike has been distributing bike lights to cyclists from near and far, shining a light on the importance of staying visible during these dark days of winter.

Under Massachusetts law, cyclists are required to use bike lights from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.  The front of the bike must be equipped with a white light (visible at least 500 feet away), with a red light or reflector on the back.  Drivers must be able to see the rear light from at least 600 feet away.

MassBike is committed to getting lights to cyclists, reaching across 90 miles with this year’s campaign. Volunteers have given out lights in Boston, including in the Allston, Jamaica Plain and Charlestown neighborhoods and nearby: Cambridge, Lynn, Newton and Needham. Further west, cyclists in Northampton, Holyoke and Worcester also received lights. We’re told there may be more stops.

Breakstone, White & Gluck was a sponsor of MassBike’s campaign in 2017 and 2018. Other sponsors of the MassBike’s 2018 Light Brigade include Digital Lumens, Cycle Massachusetts and Charles River Wheelers.

More questions about Massachusetts bicycle laws? Read our article, “Quick Facts About Massachusetts Bicycle Laws.”


Photos: Courtesy of MassBike Light Brigade 2018 Facebook Photo Album

About Breakstone, White & Gluck

With more than 100 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston law firm specializing in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Our partners founded our firm in 1992 and we have supported bicycle safety the entire way. For more than 20 years, we have sponsored bicycle clubs and organizations in the Boston area (and in some cases, ridden along the way; one of our partners is also a cyclist).

In 2013, our attorneys launched our Project KidSafe campaign, which has now given away more than 20,000 bicycle helmets across Massachusetts. Along the way, we have proudly worked with over 40 community organizations, including Massachusetts Safe Routes to School, more than a dozen police departments and bicycle committees in Milton, Westborough and Framingham. In 2017, we were recognized as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Business by the American League of Bicyclists.

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Legislation Proposed to Protect Massachusetts Pedestrians and Cyclists

9041392_m-400.jpgState lawmakers will be asked to consider a truck side guard law to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

MassBike, the state’s leading bicycle advocacy organization, recently offered an update on proposed safety legislation for 2016. The Joint Committee on Transportation will hold a public hearing on the proposed legislation, including the truck side guard law, on Wednesday at the State House.

Truck Side Guard Bill H. 3019/S. 1810
Nearly half of all bicyclists and more than one-quarter of pedestrians killed in large truck crashes first impact the side of a truck, according to the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. When a truck has high clearance, a cyclist or pedestrian can fall in the space between the front and rear wheels.

The center says sideguards are an effective way to prevent that impact and reduce fatalities and injuries. The United Kingdom has seen results: After implementing its law, cyclist fatalities dropped 61 percent while pedestrian fatalities fell 20 percent. The European Union, Japan, China and Brazil also have truck side guard laws.

In 2014, the City of Boston became the first city in the United States to adopt a truck side guard ordinance, requiring side guards, convex mirrors, cross-over mirrors and blind-spot awareness decals on all city-contracted vehicles over 10,000 pounds. Tractor-trailers have different weight requirements.

The cities of Somerville, Cambridge and Newton were discussing truck ordinances when Boston adopted its measure (and Cambridge did later enter into a partnership to install truck side guards on city-owned vehicles).

But a statewide law would eliminate the need for action by individual cities.

Bike Lane Bill H. 3072/S. 1808
This bill would make parking a vehicle or standing in a bike lane, or other on-road bike facility, a ticketable offense. The fine would be $100.

Vulnerable Users Bill H. 3073/S. 1807
Proposed by MassBike, this bill would require motorists to provide any “vulnerable user” three feet of clearance, even if it means crossing over the center line. Vulnerable road users would include cyclists, pedestrians and others who travel alongside cars. State lawmakers have considered this legislation in the past. According to the League of American Bicyclists, nine other states have vulnerable road user laws and 17 have laws which in some way address vulnerable road users.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck
The Boston personal injury attorneys of Breakstone, White & Gluck have over 100 years combined experience handling bicycle accident and pedestrian accident cases. If you have been injured, it is important to learn your rights. For a free legal consultation, contact us at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.