UMass Boston

Traffic Safety

Move Over Law

In Massachusetts, the Move Over Law aims to make police, firefighters, paramedics, tow truck drivers, and all roadside emergency and maintenance professionals safer on the job. The Move Over Law, which took effect March 22, 2009, requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency or maintenance vehicle with flashing lights to move to the next adjacent lane and slow down, if it is safe to do so. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $100. Every year, first responders across the country are injured or killed on the job while providing emergency help. All citizens are asked to make a personal pledge to always move over to make Massachusetts roadways safer for everyone.

Driving Safety

When driving on campus, follow all traffic laws including the posted speed limit (25 MPH). If you see flashing blue lights behind you, always, as soon as safely possible, pull to the right side of the road and come to a complete stop. Always scan the road for pedestrians, bicyclists and other hazards. Remember to look before turning at intersections. DO NOT drive if you have consumed alcohol or other drugs. DO NOT use your cellphone while driving, unless there is an emergency and you need to call 911. If you are approaching a crosswalk, please remember to slow down and check for people crossing. Remember to yield to pedestrians that are already in the crosswalk. You DO NOT need to stop for pedestrians that are on the side of the road  waiting to cross, however if it doesn’t impact traffic behind you, be courteous to pedestrians when feasible. Avoid coming to an abrupt stop for a pedestrian who is not in a crosswalk, but is waiting to cross on a sidewalk, it could cause a rear-end collision. After an abrupt stop, if the person enters the crosswalk and your abrupt stop causes a collision, it is possible for the pedestrian to be injured from the collision. NEVER pass another vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian to cross, it is illegal and could result in a citation.

When passing a bicyclist, slow down and use part or all of an adjacent lane to pass when safe to do so. Do not return to the lane until you have safely overtaken the bicyclist. Give at least three feet when passing bicyclists. Avoid aggressive maneuvers and drive with caution. The UMass Boston campus is heavily populated with pedestrians and bicyclists. Bicyclists and pedestrians can be unpredictable, expect the unexpected. NEVER park in a active travel lane or bike lane, it is illegal and you can receive a citation for it. Use designated "pick-up/drop-off areas" and NEVER stop in the travel lane to drop-off or pick-up people.

Bike Safety

Always wear a helmet. Learn, use, and obey traffic signals. Remember bikers must obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. Give pedestrians the right of way. Always Ride defensively. Watch for cars and car doors opening. Do not weave in and out of traffic. Slow down at intersections. Look both ways before crossing. Keep your bike well maintained and ensure that your bike is in good riding shape. When you are not riding your bike, always lock it. When riding at night, wear reflective clothing and have reflectors on your bike. When riding at night, a light on your bike is highly recommended. You can be stopped by police for traffic violations while riding a bicycle. If you see an officer signaling you to stop, pull to the right side of the road when safe to do so and come to a complete stop. 

Pedestrian Safety

When crossing the street at night, only cross in designated crosswalks that are well lit. Do not assume vehicles will stop for you or see you. Make eye contact with drivers; do not  just look at the vehicle. Always walk on sidewalks and avoid walking in the road. Before entering the roadway, be sure to look both ways. Always obey traffic signals  and  “WALK/DON'T WALK” signs. DO NOT cross when vehicles have a green light (you would be upset if a car ran a red light when you were crossing, it’s the same thing). State law requires you to use a crosswalk when one is available. If an intersection has a traffic signal, press the button and wait for the WALK signall, be patient! Do not cross if the signal says DON’T WALK. Before you cross a roadway, stop at the curb, look left, look right, and look left again for traffic. Do this even on a one-way street. Be alert while crossing. Be especially alert at intersections that allow motor vehicles to turn right on red. If you must enter the street from between parked cars, stop and look before crossing. You must use a sidewalk when one is available. When no sidewalk is available, you should walk on the shoulder facing traffic. Never walk along or across expressways, interstate highways, or turnpikes. Wear clothing with bright colors or reflective strips, especially at night. Look across all lanes you must cross, and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Even if one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop. Avoid using your phone while crossing any roadways, including talking and texting.

"The Crosswalk Law"

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 89 Section 11: When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk marked in accordance with standards established by the department of highways if the pedestrian is on that half of the traveled part of the way on which the vehicle is traveling or if the pedestrian approaches from the opposite half of the traveled part of the way to within 10 feet of that half of the traveled part of the way on which said vehicle is traveling.

No driver of a vehicle shall pass any other vehicle which has stopped at a marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross, nor shall any such operator enter a marked crosswalk while a pedestrian is crossing or until there is a sufficient space beyond the crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle he is operating, notwithstanding that a traffic control signal may indicate that vehicles may proceed.

Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.

Whenever a pedestrian is injured by a motor vehicle in a marked crosswalk, the department of state police or the municipal police department with jurisdiction of the street, in consultation with department of state police if deemed appropriate, shall conduct an investigation into the cause of the injury and any violation of this section or other law or ordinance and shall issue the appropriate civil or criminal citation or file an application for the appropriate criminal complaint, if any. This section shall not limit the ability of a district attorney or the attorney general to seek an indictment in connection with the operation of a motor vehicle which causes injury or death and which violates this section.

UMass Boston Police
Quinn Administration Building, 1st Floor, Room 100
Emergency: 911
Cell Phone Emergency: 617.287.7777
General Information: 617.287.7799
Police Dispatch: 617.287.7780, 617.287.7781
Police Tip Line: 617.287.5555