Stopping in bike lanes could soon result in a fine for all Massachusetts drivers.
In a flurry of activity during the final day of the state legislatures biennial session Tuesday, lawmakers sent a bill to the governor’s desk designed to deter motorists from blocking the portion of roadway laid out for cyclists.
“When a motorist parks or stands in a bike lane, it endangers bicyclists by causing them to merge into traffic or squeeze between the parked vehicle and the curb or other parked cars,”Lauren LeClaire of Mass Bike, a safe streets lobby that pushed for the bills passage, said in a statement.
Cities and towns have imposed their own fines against drivers who park in bike lanes, but if this bill earns the governor’s approval, it would make ita ticket-able violation statewide.
Cambridge started fining motorists$35 for stopping in bike lanes in 2014, according to the city’s website. Boston also tickets drivers for stopping or parking in a bike lane, charging $100,according to its website.
Sen. William Brownsberger, a Belmont Democrat and bicycle commuter who drafted the language that passed the House and Senate, toldState House News Servicethere is not currently a statewide rule against stopping in bike lanes.
The bill exempts drivers stopped in a bike lane for an emergency and specifies that a violation would not be considered a moving violation for the purposes of determining a surcharge on car insurance premiums.
Gov. Charlie Baker has 10 days to sign the legislation. If he does not sign the bill, it will be considered “pocket vetoed” since the 2015-2016 Legislature has expired and a new Legislature is being sworn in on Wednesday.
-State House News Service contributed to this article