The update regarding Massachusetts laws on seatbelt usage is that there is no update. As it has stood since 1994 in most respects, all motorists and passengers must wear seat belts, however, law enforcement has no right to pull you over for your failure to buckle up. To be detained by a traffic officer and be cited for not wearing a seatbelt, and to cite you for any of your passengers failure to be restrained, you must have violated some other traffic law. This is known as secondary enforcement. If you are stopped for speeding or running a red light or for any other traffic code offense and the officer sees you are not belted, the fine is only $25. You pay an additional $25 for each passenger who is not wearing a seat belt.
Receiving news that your child has been involved in an accident is a parent’s worst nightmare. The parents of four middle school aged children did get such news in a hit-and-run car accident that occurred in Stoneham, Massachusetts a few months ago. Fortunately, none of the children were seriously injured.
What happens if your car is stolen and is involved in a property damage or even a serious injury car accident in Massachusetts? Are you liable for the damages and injuries? What about the damage to your car?
In a horrific accident last October, a Massachusetts state police officer was killed when a motorist lost control of his vehicle on I-90 in Charlton, sped across several lanes of traffic, and struck the officer’s parked police cruiser, causing him fatal injuries. The driver was suspected of being high on marijuana since officers reported that the defendant had been seen leaving a medical marijuana dispensary earlier that day and presumably exhibited signs of being under the influence.
Hit-and-run accidents are among the most devastating and frustrating of personal injury cases. A Massachusetts motorist causes an accident that severely injures someone. Instead of attending to the injured victim and calling 911, the motorist panics and flees. It is difficult enough for a family to learn that a loved one was killed in an accident and that the responsible party has refused to take responsibility, but their grief is compounded if they feel that prompt medical attention might have saved the person’s life.
It is particularly surprising to learn that some people drink in the mornings. Some may even do so as part of their morning routine before driving to work. Although you may think you are safe from encountering an intoxicated driver during your early morning commute, statistics show otherwise. Unfortunately, the risk is especially acute in Massachusetts.
With bicycles becoming more ubiquitous and despite cities and towns accommodating riders with specially designated bike lanes, markings, and turn signals at intersections, it is inevitable that accidents will happen. Bicycles are not just for racing or for children and more and more people are using them to commute as well as for recreation or health.