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Posted on: December 4, 2023

Westford Public Works installing Vulnerable Road User signs

MassDOT motorists give 4 feet to pass

Westford Public Works is working with our partners at MassDOT to improve safety for Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs).  In accordance with An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities, MassDOT has developed a standard regulatory sign to remind drivers about the 4-foot minimum safe passing distance. While this distance applies to passing all vulnerable road users, the sign was created to emphasize passing bicyclists, who are likely to be the most common vulnerable road user that a motor vehicle operator will encounter. A VRU is defined as “a pedestrian, including a person engaged in work upon a way or upon utility facilities along a way or engaged in the provision of emergency services within the way” or “a person operating a bicycle, handcycle, tricycle, skateboard, roller skates, in-line skates, non-motorized scooter, wheelchair, electric personal assistive mobility device, horse, horse-drawn carriage, motorized bicycle, motorized scooter, or other micromobility device, or a farm tractor or similar vehicle designed primarily for farm use.” It also authorizes the registrar of motor vehicles to designate “other categories.”

Following passage of the new vulnerable road user law on April 1, 2023, MassDOT provided signs and posts to the Town of Westford to alert motorists to the primary requirement of the law.  Our highway team installed 16 signs along roads entering Westford to raise awareness of this important safety issue.

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