720 CMR 9.06 - Operation of Vehicles

(1) Drive Within Marked Lanes. When any roadway is divided into lanes, the driver of a vehicle shall so drive that the vehicle shall be entirely within a single lane, and he shall not move from the lane in which he is driving until he has first ascertained if such movement can be made with safety.
(2) Use Right Lane. Upon all roadways the driver of a vehicle shall drive in the lane nearest the right side of the roadway when said lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or when preparing for a left turn.
(3) Overtaking Other Vehicles. The driver of any vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a safe distance to the left thereof, and shall not cut in ahead of such other vehicle until safely clear of it.
(4) Overtake Only When There is a Space Ahead. The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass 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 completed without impeding the safe operation of any vehicle ahead or without causing the driver of any such vehicle to change his speed or alter his course, except as provided in 720 CMR 9.06(5).
(5) Vehicle Being Passed. Subject to the porvisions of M.G.L. c. 89, § 2, the driver of a vehicle when about to be over takenand passed by another vehicle approaching from the rear shall give way to the right when practicable in favor of the overtaking vehicle, on suitable and visible signal being given by the driver of the overtaking vehicle, and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
(6) Obstructing Traffic.
(a) No person shall drive in such a manner as to obstruct unnecessarily the normal movement of traffic upon any highway. Officers are hereby authorized to require any driver who fails to comply with 720 CMR 9.06(6) to drive to the side of the roadway and wait until such traffic as has been delayed has passed.
(b) Subject to the provisions of M.G.L. c. 89, § 11, no driver shall enter an intersection or a 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.
(7) Following Too Closely. The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and condition of the highway.
(8) Slow Vehicles to Stay 200 Feet Apart. Upon roadways less than 27 feet wide and upon which vehicular traffic is permitted to operate in both directions, the driver of any slow-moving commercial vehicle when traveling outside of a business or residential district shall not follow another slow-moving commercial vehicle within 200 feet, but this shall not be construed to prevent such slow-moving commercial vehicle from overtaking and passing another slow-moving commercial vehicle. 720 CMR 9.06(8) shall not apply to funerals or other lawful processions.
(9) Care in Starting, Stopping, Turning or Backing. Except as otherwise provided in 720 CMR 9.08(3) the driver of any vehicle before starting, stopping, turning from a direct line, or backing shall first see that such movement can be made in safety. If such movement cannot be made in safety or if it interferes unduly with the normal movement or other traffic, said driver shall wait for a more favorable opportunity to make such a movement. If the operation of another vehicle should be affected by a stopping or turning movement, the driver of such other vehicle shall be given a plainly visible signal, as required by M.G.L. c. 90, § 14B.
(10) Obedience to Traffic Control Signals. Colors and arrow indications in traffic control signals shall have the commands ascribed to them in 720 CMR 9.06(10), and no other meanings, and every driver of a vehicle, railway car or other conveyance shall comply therewith, except when other wise directed by an officer or by a lawful traffic regulating sign (other than a "stop" sign), signal or device or except as provided in 720 CMR 9.06(24)(b). In no case shall a driver enter or proceed through aninter section without due regard to the safety of other persons within the intersection, regardless of what indications may be given by traffic control signals .
(a) Green. While the green lens is illuminated, drivers facing the signal may proceed through the intersection, but shall yield the right of way to pedestrians and vehicles lawfully within a crosswalk or the intersection at the time such a signal was exhibited. Drivers of vehicles making a right or left turn shall yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing with the flow of traffic.
(b) Right, Left and Vertical Green Arrows. When a right green arrow is illuminated, drivers facing said signal may turn right. When a left green arrow is illuminated, drivers facing said signal may turn left. When a vertical green arrow is illuminated, drivers facing said signal may go straight ahead. When a green arrow is exhibited together with a red or yellow lens, drivers may enter the intersection to make the movement permitted by the arrow, but shall yield the right of way to vehicles proceeding from another direction on a green indication, and to pedestrians legally within a marked crosswalk.
(c) Yellow. While the yellow lens is illuminated, waiting drivers shall not proceed, and any driver approaching the intersection or a marked stop line shall stop at such point unless so close to the intersection that a stop cannot be made in safety; provided, however, that if a green arrow is illuminated at the same time drivers may enter the intersection to make the movement permitted by such arrow.
(d) Right and Left Yellow Arrows. When yellow arrows are illluminated, drivers are warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter when vehicular traffic shall not enter the intersection.
(e) Red. While the red lens is illuminated, drivers facing the signal shall stop outside of the intersection or at such point as may be clearly marked by a sign or line; provided, however, that if a green arrow is illuminated at the same time drivers may enter the intersection to make the movement permitted by such arrow.
(f) Right and Left Red Arrows. Vehicular traffic facing a steady red arrow signal shall not enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by the arrow and, unless entering the intersection to make a movement permitted by another signal, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain standing until an indication permitting the movement indicated by such red arrow shown. Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, vehicular traffic facing any steady red signal may cautiously enter the intersection to turn right, or to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way street, after stopping. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right of way to pedestrains lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.
(g) Flashing Red (Stop Signal). When a red lens is illuminated by rapid intermittent flashes, drivers of vehicles shall stop before entering the nearest crosswalk at an intersection or at a Stop line when marked, and the right to proceed shall be subject to provisions of M.G.L. c. 89, § 8.
(h) Flashing Yellow (Caution Signal). When a yellow lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, drivers of vehicles may proceed through the intersection or past such signal only with caution.
(11) Lane - Direction - Control Signals.
(a) When lane-direction-control signals are placed over the individual lanes of a street or highway, vehicular traffic may travel in any lane over which a green signal is shown, but shall not enter or travel in any lane over which a red signal is shown.
(b) Meaning of Indications. Lane direction control signal indications shall have the following meanings :
1. Downward-pointing illuminated green arrow. A driver may operate a vehicle in the lane over which the arrow signal is located and illuminated.
2. Red illuminated symbol "x". A driver shall not operate a vehicle in the lane over which the signal is located and illuminated, and that this indication shall modify accordingly the meaning of all other traffic controls present. The driver shall obey all other traffic controls and follow normal safe driving practices.
3. Steady Yellow illuminated symbol "x". A driver should prepare to vacate, in a safe manner, the lane over which the signal is located because a lane control change is being made, and to avoid occupying that lane when a steady red "x" is displayed.
4. Flashing Yellow illuminated symbol "x". A driver is permitted to use a lane over which the signal is located for a left turn. The driver is cautioned that he may be sharing that lane with opposite flow-left-turn vehicles.
(12) Lane Control Signals. When Traffic Control Signals are located and operated over or adjacent to the individual lanes of a street or highway within an area designated as a Lane Traffic Control Area, vehicles shall be operated in obedience to the command given by the signal indication shown over or adjacent to the lane in which the vehicle is being operated.

A Lane Traffic Control Area is that portion of a street or highway designated by Official Traffic Signs installed not less than 1000 feet in advance of Lane Traffic Control Signal installations.

(13) Obedience to Isolated Stop Signs. Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign or a flashing red signal indication shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or appro aching on another roadway so closely as to constitute a n immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways. 720 CMR 9.06(13) shall not apply when the traffic is otherwise directed by an officer or by a lawful traffic-regulating sign, signal or device or as provided in 720 CMR 9.06(24)(c).
(14) Obedience to "Yield" Signs. Every driver of a vehicle or other conveyance approaching an intersection of ways, where there exists facing him an official sign bearing the word "Yield", said sign having been erected in accordance with the written approval of the Department and such approval being in effect, shall surrender to oncoming traffic his right to enter the intersection until such time as he has brought his vehicle or other conveyance to a complete stop at a point between the said "Yield" sign and the nearer line of the street intersection, provided, however, that this requirement to stop before entering the intersection shall not apply when a driver approaching a "Yield" sign can enter the intersection in safety without causing interference to approaching traffic.

720 CMR 9.06(14) shall not apply when the traffic is otherwise directed by an officer or by a lawful traffic regulating sign, signal or device or as provided in 720 CMR 9.06(24)(c).

(15) 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.
(16) Keep to the Right of Roadway Division. Upon such roadways as are divided by a parkway, grass plot, reservation, viaduct, subway or by any structure or areas, drivers shall keep to the right of such division, and shall cross such parkway, grass plot or reservation only at a crossover. In the case of a state highway which has no crossovers, access to the adjoining roadway shall be gained only by the proper use of under or overpasses and ramps. The foregoing provisions shall not apply when drivers are otherwise directed by an officer, or official signs, signals or markings.
(17) Operation at Under or Over Passes and at Intersections With Islands. At any junction or crossing of ways where the roadway grades have been separated and where the ways are connected by ramps, and at any intersection of ways in which there are channelizing islands, drivers of vehicles shall proceed only as indicated by signs, signals or markings.
(18) Driving on Road Surface Under Construction or Repair. No operator shall enter upon the road surface of any 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 highway is not to be used, or when so advised by an officer, watchman, member of a highway crew or employee of the Department, either audibly or by signals.
(19) No Driving on Sidewalks. The driver of a vehicle shall not drive upon any sidewalk except at a permanent or temporary driveway.
(20) Emerging from Alley or Private Driveway. The driver of a vehicle emerging from a private road, driveway or garage shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving upon the sidewalk area extending across such driveway or garage, and where no such side walk exists the stop shall be made at the building or property line as the case may be and upon entering the roadway shall yield the right of way to vehicles approaching on the roadway.
(21) Certain Turns Prohibited. The driver of a vehicle or other conveyance shall not make a turn from the way in which he is driving into another way or driveway, at any point in the highway, where such a movement is prohibited by signs.
(22) Driving or Parking on Channelizing Island. No person shall drive over or park a motor vehicle upon any channelizing island, as defined in 720 CMR 9.00, unless directed to do so by a police officer.
(23) Obedience to Traffic Signs, Signals and Markings. The driver of any vehicle or of any street car shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control sign, signal, device, marking or legend unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
(24) Rights and Duties of Drivers in Funerals or Other Processions.
(a) It shall be the duty of each driver in a funeral or other procession to keep as near to the right edge of the roadway as is feasible and to follow the vehicle ahead as closely as practicable and safe.
(b) At an intersection where a traffic control signal is operating the driver of the first vehicle in a funeral or other procession shall be the only one required to stop for a red or red and yellow indication.
(c) At an intersection where a lawful isolated stop sign or signal exists, the driver of the first vehicle in a funeral or other procession shall be the only one required to stop before proceeding through the intersection.
(25) Men and Equipment in Highway. Whenever traffic signs are erected or warning lights are displayed in or adjacent to a highway to notify of the presence of men and equipment, in such highway every motorist shall regulate the speed of his vehicle in a manner and to a degree consistent with the particular condition.
(26) U Turns Prohibited. No operator shall back or turn a vehicle so as to proceed in a direction opposite to that in which said vehicle is headed or traveling wherever signs notifying of such a restriction have been erected.
(27) Vehicle Operation at Crosswalks.
(a) Subject to the provisions of M.G.L. c. 89, § 11, when traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle, which for the purposes of 720 CMR 9.06 shall include bicycles, shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian approaches from the opposite half of the roadway to within five feet of that half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling.
(b) Subject to the provisions of M.G.L. c. 89, § 11, 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 to proceed.
(28) Operators to Exercise Due Care. The provisions of 720 CMR 9.09 shall in no way abrogate the provisions of M.G.L. c 90, §§ 14 and 14A which provide: "Precautions for Safety of Other Travelers" and for the "Protection of Blind Persons Crossing Ways", Furthermore, notwithstanding the provisions of 720 CMR 9.00 every operator 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.

Notes

720 CMR 9.06

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