City of Cambridge, Massachusetts Traffic Regulations
A copy of these laws is supplied by MassBike because they are not the same
as traffic laws in the rest of Massachusetts. As of October 23, 2002, these
laws are in effect. They are subject to change, and MassBike will try to keep
up with them, but we do not guarantee accuracy.
Note especially section 9.20, Opening and Closing of Car Doors.
ARTICLE IX. RULES OF THE ROAD
Sec. 9.1 FOLLOWING FIRE APPARATUS PROHIBITED (1)
Sec. 9.2 CROSSING FIRE HOSE (1)
Sec. 9.3 DRIVING THROUGH FUNERAL OR OTHER PROCESSIONS (2)
Sec. 9.4 DRIVERS IN A PROCESSION
(a) Each driver in a funeral or other procession shall drive as near to the right-hand edge of the roadway as practicable and shall follow the vehicle ahead as close as is practicable and safe.
(b) At an intersection where a traffic-control signal is operating or a stop sign located, the driver of the first vehicle in a funeral or other procession shall be the only one governed by the traffic signal indication or the stop sign.
Sec. 9.5 FUNERAL PROCESSIONS TO BE IDENTIFIED
A funeral composed of a procession of vehicles shall be identified as such by the display upon the outside of each vehicle of a pennant or other identifying insignia or by such other method as may be determined and designated by the police department.
Sec. 9.6 PARADES, PROCESSIONS AND FORMATIONS
No person shall take part in any parade, procession or other organized formation
of persons or vehicles, other than a funeral procession or a picket line, in or
upon any street, way, highway, road or parkway under the control of the city
unless the Director of Traffic has issued a permit approved by the Chief of Police,
for such parade, procession or formation. Said permit shall designate the time,
place and manner of such parade, procession or formation. Before a permit is
issued, written application giving the time place and manner of such parade,
procession or formation shall be filed with the Director of Traffic at least
fortyeight hours before the time fixed for the same.
Sec. 9.7 DRIVE ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY-EXCEPTIONS (3)
Sec. 9.8 OVERTAKING A VEHICLE ON THE LEFT (4)
The driver of a vehicle shall not pass and overtake a vehicle proceeding in the same
direction unless there is sufficient clear space ahead on the right side of the roadway
to permit the overtaking to be concluded without impeding the safe operation of the
Sec. 9.9 OVERTAKING OTHER VEHICLES
Sec. 9.10 FURTHER LIMITATIONS ON RIVING TO LEFT OF CENTER OF ROADWAY (5)
Sec. 9.11 NO-PASSING ZONES (5)
Sec. 9.12 OPERATION AT INTERSECTIONS WITH ISLANDS AND AT SAFETY ZONES
(a) A vehicle passing around a rotary traffic island shall be driven
only to the right of such island.
(b) At any intersection of ways or other place in which there are marked or
permanent channelizing islands or safety zones, drivers of vehicles shall proceed
only as indicated by signs, signals, or markings.
(c) No person shall drive through or over or park a motor vehicle upon, any
channelizing island or safety zone unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
Sec. 9.13 DRIVING ON ROADWAYS LANED FOR TRAFFIC (6)
Sec. 9.14 FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY
The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable
and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon arid the
condition of the highways.
Sec. 9.15 DRIVING ON DIVIDED HIGHWAYS
Except on one-way streets, whenever any highways has been divided into two or more roadways
by leaving an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing section
so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only upon the
right-hand roadway unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by official traffic-control
devices or police officers. No vehicle shall be driven over, across or within any such dividing
space, barrier or section, except through an opening in such physical barrier or dividing
section or space or at a cross-oven or intersection as established.
Sec. 9.16 CARE IN STOPPING, STARTING, TURNING, OR BACKING
The driver of any vehicle before starting, turning from a direct line, or backing, shall first
see that such movement can be made in safety. If such movement cannot he made in safety or it
it interferes with the normal movement of traffic, said driver shall wait for a more favorable
opportunity to make such movement.
Sec. 9.17 BACKING AROUND CORNERS AND INTO INTERSECTIONS
The driver of any vehicle shall not back the vehicle around a corner or into an intersection and
shall not in any event or at any place back a vehicle unless such movement can be made in safety.
Sec. 9.18 VEHICLE OPERATION AT CROSSWALKS
(a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle, which for
the purposes of this regulation shall include bicycles, shall yield the right of way, slowing down or
stopping if need he so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk when
the pedestrian is upon the halt of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the
pedestrian approaches from the opposite half of the roadway to within 5 feet of that half of the
roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling. No operator of a vehicle shall pass any other vehicle
which has been stopped at a marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross a way, nor shall any
operator enter a marked crosswalk until there is sufficient space on the other side of the crosswalk
to accommodate the vehicle he is operating notwithstanding any traffic-control signal indication
(b) The provisions of these regulations and those drafted under the provisions of General Laws,
Chapter 90, Section 18A, shall in no way abrogate the provisions of Chapter 90. sections 14 and
14A of the General Laws (Ter. Ed.) which provides: "Precautions for Safety of Other Travelers"
and for the "Protection of Blind Persons Crossing Ways". Furthermore, notwithstanding the
provisions of these regulations every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid
colliding with any pedestrian upon the roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn
when necessary and shall exercise proper precautions which may become necessary for safe operation.
Sec. 9.19 VEHICLE SHALL NOT BE DRIVEN ON A SIDEWALK
The driver of a vehicle shall not drive within any sidewalk area except at a permanent or
Sec. 9.20 OPENING AND CLOSING VEHICLE DOORS
No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and
until it is reasonably safe to do so, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a motor
vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload
Sec. 9.21 PROHIBITED RIDING
(a) No person shall ride on any portion of a motor vehicle not designed or intended for the use of
passengers except in that part of a truck within which the load is usually carried.
(b) No person shall board a moving vehicle without the consent of the person in charge thereof.
Sec. 9.22 CLINGING TO VEHICLES
No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the
same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.
Sec. 9.23 UNATTENDED MOTOR VEHICLE (7)
Sec. 9.24 OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC
(a) No person shall drive in such a manner as to obstruct unnecessarily the normal movement
of traffic upon any street or highway. Officers are hereby authorized to require any driver
who fails to comply with this section to drive to the side of the road way and wait until
such traffic as has been delayed has passed.
(b) No driver shall enter an intersection or marked crosswalk unless there is sufficient space
on the other side of the intersection or crosswalk and on the right half of the roadway to
accommodate the vehicle he is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles or
pedestrians notwithstanding any traffic-control signal indication to proceed, except that
on a one-way street drivers shall not be restricted to the use of the right half of the roadway.
Sec. 9.25 DROPPING OR LEAKING LOADS (8)
Sec. 9.26 PUTTING GLASS, ETC., ON HIGHWAY PROHIBITED (9)
Sec. 9.27 ZONES OF QUIET
No person operating a motor vehicle within any designated and signed zone of quiet shall
sound the horn or other warning device of said vehicle except in an emergency, nor make
any loud or unusual noise in said zone of quiet.
Sec. 9.28 SOUND HORN WHEN NECESSARY
The driver of a vehicle shall give an audible warning with his horn or other suitable
warning device whenever necessary to insure safe operation.
Sec. 9.29 PLAY STREETS
Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating any street or part thereof as a play street,
no person shall drive a vehicle upon any such street or portion thereof except drivers of
vehicles having business or whose residences are within such closed areas, and then any
said driver shall exercise the greatest care in driving upon any such street or portion thereof.
Sec. 9.30 DRIVING ON ROAD SURFACES UNDER CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIR
No driver shall enter upon the road surface of any street or highway or section
thereof, when, by reason of construction, surface treatment, maintenance or
the like, or because of some unprotected hazard, such road surface is closed
to travel, and one or more signs, lights or signals have been erected to indicate
that all or part of the road surface of the street or highway is not to be used,
or when so advised by an officer, watchman, member of a street or highway crew
or employee of the city either audibly or by signals.
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