by Chief Steven J. Wojnar
Dudley Police Department
The subject of passing vehicles was recently brought to my attention. The person noted a problem with some vehicles traveling partially on the roadway shoulder while passing another vehicle on the right. They also noted some roads have signs posted prohibiting this type of activity. I was asked to remind people about the laws pertaining to passing on the right.
Passing on the right is authorized by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 89 Section 2. In order to do this, the roadway must be free of obstructions and there must be sufficient room to pass with safety. This means there must be enough road surface to accommodate both the first vehicle and the second, which is passing on the right. It is the responsibility of the driver of the overtaking vehicle to insure these movements can be made with safety. If it is necessary for the passing vehicle to travel off the roadway in any way, there is not sufficient room to pass. This would be a violation of the law. The driver would be subject to a $100 civil infraction.
Remember, the obligation to yield in any passing situation lies with the overtaking vehicle. These actions are contrary to normal travel and therefore carry further restrictions. If it is necessary for a vehicle to travel off the roadway to pass, there is an increased risk of accidents and injuries to pedestrians, bicycle riders, and others in the area. If cities or towns have taken the liberty of posting signs reminding drivers not to pass on the shoulder area of certain roads, that location must be particularly prone to problems. It is important to take a few extra moments to insure all passing situations can be performed safely.
I wish to take a moment to thank Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis for coming to Shepherd Hill High School on Monday, April 1st to present his program “Face to Face.” This is a very good program which provides young people with valuable information on decision making involving drugs and alcohol. Many important examples were presented for the students and it was well received. I thank the Sheriff for his time and efforts. I also thank Principal Pierangeli and her staff for offering these programs to our young adults to provide them with the tools to make good decisions.
I wish to congratulate the Dudley Woman’s Club for another successful “Fashionista Fashion Show” held on Sunday, April 7th at Point Breeze. A large crowd was on hand once again for this fifth annual event. The proceeds of this day will benefit scholarships for Shepherd Hill and Bay Path students as well as the many charitable functions of the Club. Many local residents and public officials were on hand to assist with modeling, raffles, and other events of the day. Sergeant Dean Poplawski and I once again participated as greeters and assistants. A good time was had by all. I applaud the club for their great work and continued support of our community.