Berkshire County drivers! Be extra careful(not that you shouldn't be careful when you're behind the wheel anyway) when you're out driving around, especially when you're driving near pedestrians and/or bicyclists.

In an effort to hopefully reduce injuries and fatalities out on the roads, Governor Baker signed a new bill into law on Monday(shortly before his final day in office) that would make roads much safer for those not using cars.

According to, pedestrians as well as bicyclists, skateboarders, people riding in wheelchairs, and others now have new(and better) protections meant to prevent traffic fatalities.

The state's website reports that the bill(known as H.5103) was signed into law by Governor Baker yesterday. And, among other things, it essentially sets a minimum passing distance between vehicles and pedestrians and other "vulnerable" road users when passing them. The minimum distance? Four feet.

To repeat that: Drivers are now required to have at least a minimum of 4 feet between their vehicles and pedestrians, etc. as they pass them. When the bill first landed on Governor Baker's desk back in September the four-foot requirement was not part of it but has since been added.

That means if you're coming up behind a "vulnerable" road user on a city street whether it's a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or someone driving a tractor, in order to pass them you now have to allow four feet of separation distance.

Also part of the new law, large tractor-trailers owned or leased by the state will now be required to use devices designed to protect vulnerable road users such as side guards to protect cyclists from being run over.

Hopefully, everyone can get used to the new traffic law sooner rather than later. In the end, it should mean safer roads and streets for everyone. And isn't that a great idea?

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