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  • Acts
  • 2008
  • Chapter 418 AN ACT RELATIVE TO OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE WHEN APPROACHING STATIONARY EMERGENCY VEHICLES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Chapter 89 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 7B the following section:-

Section 7C. (a) As used in this section the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
“Emergency response vehicle”, a fire apparatus, police vehicle, ambulance, or disaster vehicle.

“Highway maintenance vehicle”, a vehicle used for the maintenance of highways and roadways: (1) that is owned or operated by the executive office of transportation and public works, a county, a municipality or any political subdivision thereof; or (2) that is owned or operated by a person under contract with the executive office of transportation and public works, a county, a municipality or any political subdivision thereof.

“Operator”, any person who operates a motor vehicle as defined in section 1 of chapter 90.

“Person”, a natural person, corporation, association, partnership or other legal entity.

“Recovery vehicle”, a vehicle that is specifically designed to assist a disabled vehicle or to tow a disabled vehicle.

(b) Upon approaching a stationary emergency vehicle, highway maintenance vehicle or recovery vehicle with flashing lights an operator shall:
(1) proceed with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle to that of a reasonable and safe speed for road conditions, and, if practicable and on a highway having at least 4 lanes with not less than 2 lanes proceeding in the same direction as the operator’s vehicle, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency response vehicle, highway maintenance vehicle or recovery vehicle; or
(2) if changing lanes is impracticable, proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle to that of a reasonable and safe speed for road conditions.
(c) Violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.

Approved December 22, 2008