Massachusetts residents don't have the best reputation when it comes to driving and part of the reason for that could be the fact that we are always in a hurry. Massachusetts is always notorious for its traffic, especially in the Boston area. Drivers in a hurry, plus traffic, just never seem to work out.

While Massachusetts is famous for bad drivers, it's also famous for being one of the most regulated states, and those laws and regulations cover all aspects of life which of course includes driving.

Massachusetts has some of the most stringent laws regarding roadways and regulates everything from who can drive when they can drive, what they can drive, and how they can modify their vehicles. Now all of these laws are of course in place for people's safety but compared to some other states that let you put basically anything with wheels on the road, it can seem overbearing at times.

However, when it comes to pedestrian safety the strict rules of the road in Massachusetts are necessary. According to The Boston Globe, pedestrian deaths in Massachusetts increased by 35% last year.

One of the biggest protectors of pedestrians on our roadways is the crosswalk. Drivers are taught to always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, but there are some circumstances when pedestrians don't have the right of way, even when they're at a crosswalk.

When Do Pedestrians Not Have the Right of Way in Massachusetts?

Drivers should avoid a pedestrian at all costs, that goes without saying. However, there are times when pedestrians don't have the right of way. Those circumstances are the following:

  • Crosswalks at lights with don't walk signals
  • Crosswalks when drivers have the green light
  • When walking unlawfully on the side of the road
  • When crossing at someplace other than an intersection (jaywalking) if stepping out into the road at an unsafe time.

LOOK: Most dangerous states to drive in

Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher


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