One dead, two injured after car slams into two people fixing trailer load on the turnpike in Brighton

State Police State Police report the driver of a BMW heading eastbound on the Massachusetts Turnpike near the New Balance complex drove into two men who were trying to secure the load on a trailer attached to their stopped pickup shortly after 2:30 p.m.

One of the men died; the other was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries, State Police say. The BMW driver was also injured, State Police say, adding their investigation continues.



Free tagging: 


Let's not take bets

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There's some apparent tragedies right here, and guessing about circumstances can be unjustly harmful.

and additionally,

Probably on their cell phone too. I'm convinced the cellphone/distracted driving problem cannot be solved by changes to laws or law enforcement -- if the laws were enforced frequently or harshly enough to change behavior, people would vote politicians out of office. Self-driving cars are probably our only hope.

Good luck with that

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MA has some pretty weak laws on drunk driving because all the legislators are lawyers or drunks.

I'm convinced the cellphone

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I'm convinced the cellphone/distracted driving problem cannot be solved by changes to laws or law enforcement

Funny, Great Britain and other countries seem have to figured out how to solve this issue with both laws and enforcement. Perhaps we should look at what they do and adopt some of their methods here.

85 in the rightmost lane

He wouldn't have to do that if people weren't going 80 in the leftmost lane.

It's the simplest cudgel: If you're another motorist, you can't prove I was speeding without yourself speeding. But I can prove that you failed to KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS by passing you on the right.

Did I just defend a BMW driver? First time for everything, I guess.

in Massachusetts, it is legal for drivers to pass on the right

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where all lanes are going in the same directions, such as on an Interstate or freeway.

From MGL Chapter 89, Section 4B (sorry for the error)

The driver of a vehicle may, if the roadway is free from obstruction and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles, overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle when the vehicle overtaken is (a) making or about to make a left turn, (b) upon a one-way street, or (c) upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement. (emphasis added).

So, Keep Right Except to Pass is NOT applicable to multi-lane highways like I-90 by New Balance.


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The media is confusing a recent MassDOT/State Police public service campaign targeting left lane hoggers (people who intentionally impede traffic by staying in the left lane and driving slower than the normal flow of traffic) with the actual state laws concerning lane use on multi-lane highways. For one thing, note how they didn't cite or quote an actual law, but cut and paste the information from the RMV driver's manual.

The only vehicles that are not allowed to travel in the left lanes on multi-lane highways (3 or more lanes in each direction) are commercial trucks over 2 1/2 tons. While the RMV driver's manual does state the following:

Driving on the Highway

• Stay to the right and only use the left lane for passing. On an
expressway with three or more lanes in your direction, use the far
right lane for slower driving, the middle lane for faster driving, and
the far left lane for passing


with the exception of certain commercial vehicles, which are covered in MGL Chapter 89, Section 4C:

On any highway with more than one passing lane in the same direction, heavy commercial vehicles, except buses, shall be restricted in ordinary operation to the right-hand travel lane, and in overtaking and passing shall be restricted to the next adjacent passing or travel lane, and shall not use any other lanes except in an emergency. For the purpose of this section, heavy commercial vehicles shall be defined as those in excess of two and one half tons used for transportation of goods, wares, and merchandise.

there is NOTHING in actual state law (Chapters 85, 89, or 90), that legally mandates that vehicles on multi-lane highways stay out of the left lane unless passing another vehicle. And think about it - if they were to enact and aggressively enforce such a prohibition, our traffic problems would be even worse then they are now.

Picture the Southeast Expressway or Route I-95 (128 for you stick-in-the-muds) during rush hour if people couldn't routinely use the far left lane for travel.

For the record, I almost NEVER drive in the far left lane when I'm on the highway. And I'm not defending people who do so

89. 4B is the law that is used Roadman.

But the biggest case law for racial profiling in MA is Comm v. Lora. A trooper pulled over someone for driving in the left lane when no one else was on the highway. He was cited for 89 4.B

General Laws c. 89, § 4B, states in relevant part: "Upon all ways the driver of a vehicle shall drive in the lane nearest the right side of the way when such lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for a left turn. . . ." Andres Lora concedes that the vehicle in which he was traveling was in violation of this statutory provision.

Background. a. Traffic stop. [Note 4] On the evening of December 20, 2001, State Trooper Brendhan Shugrue was patrolling Interstate Route 290 in Auburn (Route 290). [Note 5] At approximately 9:10 P.M., he approached a motor vehicle traveling ahead of him in the left lane. At the time, there was no traffic in the center lane or the right lane. The vehicle traveled within the speed limit, did not swerve, and made no erratic movements. It did not pass any vehicles because there was no traffic at the time. Shugrue followed the vehicle for three-quarters mile to an area within several hundred yards of the border between Auburn and Worcester. He observed that the two occupants of the vehicle were dark skinned (the defendant, Andres Lora, is Hispanic). He activated the cruiser's blue lights and stopped the vehicle for traveling in the left lane while the center and right lanes were unoccupied.

Comm. v. Lora 2008

Thanks for the clarification

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However, herein lies an apparent contradiction. One part of the law states that you must keep to the right on a multi-lane highway except for passing, yet another part of the law states you can pass traffic on the right on a multi-lane highway.

I guess we've got to keep defense lawyers employed somehow.

Not contradictory

Even if driver A is in violation of the law for being in left lane, driver B is still legally allowed to pass A in the right lane.

If that wasn't the law (and if people knew and followed the laws exactly), a slow driver in the left lane could cause all traffic to match their speed as no one could legally pass in the adjacent, open lanes. It would comical to watch.


Keep-right and passing on the right are not contradictory. Note that there are no longer any signs saying "Keep right except to pass." The directive they use on the Amber Alert signs is "Left lane travel allowed only when passing." It says nothing about any middle lanes. So, if cars in the far left lane are passing traffic in the middle lane, but are still going slower than the limit, cars can pass in the rightmost lane. This happens every day at rush hour, when people for some reason clog up the left lane, leaving the right lane nearly empty. Those people are apparently violating the keep-right rule, but certainly think "I would be passing if I could."

Even if there are only two lanes in each direction, the common event of someone violating keep-right by blocking the left lane (used to be NY and NJ plates most of the time) no longer forces others to break the law to go around them, because of the change in the law.

The next car I buy will have

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The next car I buy will have pre-collision avoidance. They really ought to require it for all new cars soon.

Pre-collision avoidance

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Another expensive system car manufacturers are forcing on the consumer (so they can charge even more for their product) that only serves to make drivers even lazier and dumber than they are now. NOT the way to improve people's skills.

Crash avoidance systems are optional...

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on new cars, not standard. And certainly not "forced on" anyone.

They usually cost between $500-$1000 depending on make/model and you usually get a discount on your insurance if you have one.

Improve people's skills?

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Improve people's skills? Driver skill plateaued a long time ago. It's not going to magically improve in the near future. What will improve over time is the technology built into cars.

You can call it expensive (that's the argument the auto industry used to fight mandatory seatbelts, airbags, and backup cameras). But really how expensive is it compared to a rear end collision?

Not to presuppose

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But the guys were probably stopped in the right lane. The driver will probably not be charged with anything, unless he was intoxicated. Very sad, but stopping outside a breakdown lane is very dangerous indeed.

c 2002 I if a tire blow out on the Pike in Allston. Stopped on little more than a rim and called MSP (someone had a cell phone). They said under no circumstances should we wait in a travel lane if the car could be moved, so we drove about half a mile to the toll plaza where there was a refuge area to put on a spare. Harrowing to drive at a low speed, and many fewer distractions back then.

There's an emergency pullout there

You can see it from the link but it says by New Balance and there is a breakdown area right there. Can't say for sure they were pulled off there but if they were stopped to secure a load it would make sense to drive slowly until you could pull off somewhere and that would be such a spot.,-71.1438676,307m/data=!3m1!1e3

Not to prejudge

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But there's a curve there.

As the first poster said, you feel for all those connected with this tragedy.

Here's how

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You're driving along in the right lane behind another car. All of a sudden the car in front of you swerves to the left to avoid the obstacle, leaving you little time to react (especially if you haven't left enough following distance).

Move over law

You move over for a statie or whatever, and they flip out and pass you on the right.

Move over law II

Wasn't clear. No not the cop passing.

Here's what happens. I'm in the right lane doing 70. I see somebody stopped up ahead, I have to "move over" to the middle lane where they are doing 80.

Now they get mad I am in their way, but instead of going into the left lane where everybody is doing 90 to pass me angrily, they pass angrily on my right, going 85 and faster than the right lane traffic was before.

Move over or slow down

The law says to move over if that's practical. If not, you can stay in lane and slow down. There's no mandate to swerve into the next lane AND slow down.

[edit] I thought you were talking about moving over for a stopped Statie, and having other drivers pass you on the right. If you were talking about a cop passing you, whatever.

"But the sun was behind me

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"But the sun was behind me and they didn't have reflective clothing so I couldn't see them don't drivers know we can't SEE YOU WHEN YOU STOP and did they have pedestrian insurance ? All drivers who get out of their vehicles need to have pedestrian insurance when they get slammed by dbags going 85 and were they wearing helmets and lights ? PLEASE please please always stop your motor vehicle where no motor vehicles can go, not blaming just saying cause I care !"