Website Navigation
Featured Pages
Pictures of the Present
Book & Film Mentions
Famous People
Getting Around
Looking For Info
Looking For People
Yearbook Searches
Pictures of the Past
Union Station
Famous Firsts
Commons Cemetery
80s Child
Fond Memories
Pronunciation Guide
Popular Phrases
Unique Words
Driving Rules
Fish out of Water
Boston Tourist Tips
Warehouse Fire
Union Station
What's Great?
Pollstar - Concerts
Yahoo Map of Worc.

New Massachusetts Driving Rules

This list is a compliment to the list of rules for driving in Massachusetts. If you don't see a rule mentioned on that list, submit it below. Check out what people have sent so far.

You may also want to check out: What's Your Massachusetts Driving Horror Story? for more driving mishaps in our state. Or our guide on how to tell Where These Drivers are From?

Passing on the right. Passing on the right used to be permitted ONLY on a 6 lane divided highway. However the law has be slackened to permit passing on the right at any and all opportunities. In fact it is encouraged. A motorist should always try to pass on the right if the vehicle ahead of him in the same travel lane has his directional on indicating a right hand turn.
Comment by: Jim Keefe
Right on red is an archaic rule because invariably the first person in line in the right lane is just trying to pass on the right and has no interest in turning right.
Comment by: Matthew Billings
When in doubt... FLOOR IT!
Comment by: Jack Rowe
Right of way in the rotary: the person with the junkiest car has the right of way.
Comment by: Phil Callery
Driving drunk isn't called a D.U.I. it is called a "Ted Kennedy".
Comment by: rafe hershfield
It is the right of way to make a left turn the second the light turns green, and for the next 2 or 3 cars to do the same blocking the oncoming traffic from flowing through.
Comment by: mendy
If you see a yellow light on the stoplight ahead, don't slow down. Instead, floor it so that you don't get caught when it turns red.
Comment by: Dave
Notice that if a Mass driver goes through a stop sign, he's likely to stop in the middle of the intersection and then go.
Comment by: Dave
It is fully expected for a driver needing to take a left turn to rush out and turn as soon as the light turns green, and the cars waiting to continue forward on the other side allow it to happen. It would be absurd to wait until a break in traffic to make a turn, we don't have all day.
Comment by: Casey
At any red light, regardless of how many lanes are in the road, there is always a secret, imaginary lane on the right created by drivers who just want to turn right on red without waiting for the people in front of them who aren't turning. It is always encouraged to make your own lane on the right (in the shoulder) whenever possible, and whenever turning right. This also includes roads that have a right turn only lane if the person in that lane isn't moving when the light is red.
Comment by: Samantha
Whenever passing the person in front of you, slam on the gas pedal and drive until you are two inches from their bumper. Keep tailgating them until you (or they) get really annoyed. In less than one second, flip on your directional and swerve into the other lane.
Comment by: Samantha
Never yield the right of way to emergency vehicles, they should never have caught up with you in the first place!!
Comment by: Scott Currier
At a red light MA drivers must place one hand on the horn and be prepared to instantly press said horn if more than .025 seconds pass between the time the light turns green and the car in front of them begins to move.
Comment by: johnpowers
When a light at a backed up intersection turns yellow, rush into the intersection. Because the law states that it is legal to enter an intersection before the light turns red, you should always do so, even if that prevents all cross traffic from moving. This rule especially applies in downtown during rush hour.
Comment by: Dan
Just adding on to the 'passing-on-the-right-rule': It is considered uncool if your action DOES NOT include tearing up some poor soul's front lawn, knocking down their mail box, and scraping the left rear bumper of the car in front of you at 60 mph as you pass.
Comment by: Shades18
On a three lane highway in Massachusetts, it is the middle lane (not the right under any circumstances) that is reserved for travelling and minding your own business. The left lane is for passing these middle lane slowpokes. The right lane is for passing the people who are too slow to be passing the middle laners; it is also for people who are gutsy enough to enter or exit the highway. To add to the sport of this, trucks are not allowed to be in the left lane. They will let you know they wish to go faster by driving approximately 2 inches from your rear bumper.
Comment by: Jessica E. Bowen
Never brush or shovel the snow off the top of your car. On the highway, this snow creates an effective "smoke screen" to block people's vision.
Comment by: Eric Landquist
Boston, Mass is currently in hot competition with Rome, Italy for the title "Worst Drivers on the Planet." Help us out here.
Comment by: Duane Davis
Each car in Massachusetts should be considered to have a "This Vehicle Makes Sudden Stops" sign on the back. This is to allow for those sympathetic drivers who come to a complete stop on major routes to let other drivers into traffic.
Comment by: Eric Brimhall
In Worcester in particular there is a rule I have never seen elsewhere. This rule is the ability to turn left on red. It occurs at nine intersections in the city.
Comment by: Adam
Directionals should be extras on most cars. Yield signs do nothing but confuse people, who undoubtedly do not understand the meaning of the word.
Comment by: Dan Pontes
When you are in a rotary, and you come to a stop, you are going to get hit.
Comment by: Lauren Barry
In Massachusetts, it is perfectly normal when pulling out into traffic from a side street or parking lot to wait until the vehicle coming upon you from down the road is just about to pass you, then slam on your gas pedal, pull out suddenly in front of the other vehicle and then jam on your brakes as you approach the traffic backup ahead. This causes the other driver to perfom a much needed test on his his brakes, the tread on his tires as well as his reflexes! The sound of the other car coming to a screeching halt, as well as the smell of melted rubber smoking off the pavement means that you have passed this well known MASS driving maneuver! Never pull out in front of another vehicle if there is more than a few feet of space between you and that other car. It's a waste! Why keep other drivers so far behind of your beautifully banged up bumper? If they fall too far behind, how can they possibly admire your "AAA of Southern New England" sticker in the back window as well as the microscopic serial number engraved on your licence plate? You gotta have a front row seat to see that! Hey, you're doing the other person a favor, right??? Stephanie from: Lynn Lynn, City of Sin Massachusetts
Comment by: Stephanie
When merging onto the highway when it's bumper to bumper traffic it is customary to speed down the road in the brakedown lane passing all the poor bastards beside you, only until the brakedown lane runs out. Then, cut into a 3" space in between two cars sticking your car sideways in between them preventing them from even thinking about edging up until the traffic starts moving again. Expect the person in the car that you cut in front of to honk at you and swear at you out their window. Even though their car hadn't moved even an inch in the hour they had been sitting at a stand still in traffic, that doesn't mean that YOU didn't cause them to be .00000000001 seconds late getting to their destination! The driving in the brakedown lane also applies if you are in bumper to bumper traffic and you "don't feel like" waiting for the cars in front of you to get the hell out of the way. Then you can speed down the brakedown lane to get off at your exit which is only 2 miles away. Or you can do this in order to gain a better spot in the traffic. Remember, they HAVE to let you in! Nobody wants to pay their Massachusetts car insurance company the $1,000 deductable!
Comment by: Stephanie
While traveling through Kelly Square, in Worcester, keep in mind that everyone has the right of way.
Comment by: Derek Wolosz
Stopping at stop signs is only required if having a stop sign in that location seems to make sense. If in the driver's opinion it makes no sense to have a stop sign at that location the driver is free to ignore it.
Comment by: Rob
When in doubt, go really fast in the right lane, then swerve back across all lanes really fast with no directionals!!!
Comment by: mike
#24. DON'T drink and drive.really the potholes will cause you to dump you beer. trust me I TRIED!!!!
Comment by: scott
When coming to a 4 way stop and there is more than 4 signs at the intersection (there are many near WPI with up to 8 signs), you do not have to stop. If you do, you will most likely be hit.
Comment by: Meaghan
If you miss your exit, just throw the car in reverse and back up to it. The shoulder of the road was made for this purpose.
Comment by: Sean
One of the firs things a Massachusetts driver must master is the art of the "rolling stop."
Comment by: Mandy
Place names, directional signs, and route signs are not to be promiscuously posted. They just cost taxpayers money and are not needed by home folks. Especially to be avoided are signs that tell you what route you're on, which every durn fool already knows. (ex-Worcester)
Comment by: R.J. Metcalfe
Turn signals are rarely used. Using a turn signal is a sign of weakness, and only gives away your (also spelled "ya") next move. Anyone who uses a turn signal on a Massachusetts road is either considered a) an out-of-townie, or b) retarded (also spelled "retahded"). This rule also gives a heads-up about the dialect/accent of people from Eastern and Central Mass.
Comment by: Ben
At a stop sign, once the lead car procedes into the intersection, the first 12 cars behind it can roll through without having to stop at the stop line.
Comment by: W. R. Bell
At an intersection, the "Right Turn Only" lane may also be used by a motorist who is going straight (not making the right hand turn) to pass another motorist who is not going straight as fast.
Comment by: Jon
If a car is going the speed limit, it is grounds to pull next to it and flip the driver off.
Comment by: Carolyn
There was a book that came out in the 80's all about the drivers of Massacusetts. One of the things I remember from that book was the 'gas station right turn'. You use it when the light is backed up or you just don't want to wait for it to change. You basically cut thru the asphault area of a gas station or convenience store:)
Comment by: susan mccarthy
Tabloid newspapers & paperbacks are published the size they are to make them ideal reading material while driving, especially on an interstate. Reading office memos while driving to work eliminates the annoying waste of valuable personal time doing homework.
Comment by: a.m.
When driving in Western Mass, especially Amherst, while stopping for pedestrians (to avoid a $100 fine that is actually enforced), expect an E. Mass driver to pass you on the right, a W. Mass driver incompetently trying to parallel park blocking traffic for the next 1/4 mile, and some rich kid to rear end you with a humvee! Amherst-Northampton may be the worst place in the state to drive. It has a super-dangerous combination of drivers from different parts of the state. First, there are transplanted Boston drivers attending UMass who drive like psychoes, as we know. Then there's a terrifying breed most BayStaters are unaware of - Western Mass drivers! I call them the brain-dead Volvo contingent. They drive 10 miles/hr. below the speed limit in their Kucinich '04 stickered Volvos, stop in the middle of intersections and turn left from the straight lane without a blinker because they forgot where they were in a stoned-out haze. On top of that, there are schools like Amherst and Smith Colleges full of clueless rich kids whose parents buy them Hummers, Land Rovers, and BMWs, which they drive around in pill-popping drunken old-boys-network hazes. Put these breeds of drivers together, plus the fact that pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, and it's chaos waiting to happen.
Comment by: Drew
The Massachusetts cutoff: You drive 95MPH out of a side street to cut someone off, however once you get into the main street and are safely driving you slow your speed to approximately 28MPH. The Delayed turn: Putting your blinker on about 600 yards from where you turn and slow down to about 15 MPH, causing the cars behind you to wonder where you will turn, also forcing them over the marked lanes to pass you!
Comment by: Chris
Passing on the right: when traveling on 495 in the middle lane at 55-60 mph between exits 50-10-9 Small cars and trucks don't need to comunicate there presents. (CDL book comunicate your presents" Tap the horn lightly flash your lights" ) you decide to turn in to the far right lane from the middle lane. signal look in all right side mirrors then proceed slowly over. But that little car could be in you're blind spot were you can't see them. so you hit them. you pull over in the brakedown lane to exchange info. " you didn't see me the foriegner says from canada" dua ( yep I didn't see you, You did make any effort to comunicate you presence. Why because your smaller than me.)But I'm 51% fault why because in the commonwealth infinate wisdom they change the passing on right law. and wonder why trucks and small cars trucks get in accidents. But it's always the truck drivers falt Damb Truckers What people forget though is everything we own is delivered at some point or anther by truck.
Comment by: mike
mergeing on to a highway: driveing on any highway in mass. in the far right lane wich the normal travel/mergeing/exiting lane. when drive in the far right lane when 2 or more cars are comming down the on ramp on to the highway bumper to bumper and you meet at the point of mergeing light off on throttle and let merge after all if don't they may zip right out in front of you or they may be forced to stay they right next to you and end up either decide to beep to horn, and either hit exit to off the highway turn slightly and go back off the hightway on exit ramp and come back around and try to merge again. ( I guess the law mergeing traffic must yeild does'nt apply to these people. God I would to see what they would do if they were in canada they have stop signs at the mergeing points of the on ramp to the highway. that cool think of all rearenders at the end of the merge ramp because of more than 2 cars comming down the ramp around the corner 1 sec between eachother and then have to stop from 35-50 mph now that would be cool.
Comment by: mike
Observation: when driving thru boston at bumper to bumper traffic at 40-45 mph. quickly change lanes to go to your exit. instead of being in the right lane before hand. BECAUSE YOU TRAVEL THE SAME ROUTE EVERYDAY IN ORDER TO GO TO WORK. ( you know if everyone travel 30 mph in the the heart of boston they just might on make extreme lane changes but I don't what I'm talking about.)
Comment by: mike
Only yield to emergency vehicles when they are directly behind you and have both lights and siren working. Then use their passing to pass any and all vehicles who've pulled over in front of you. (If emergency vehicle is State Police cruiser, break off close pursuit at 100 MPH, lest there be another Statie following.)
Comment by: Griff
A Massachusetts driver gets to decide which road signs to follow, which ones to ignore, and which ones to misunderstand. After all the person in the driver's seat calls the shots.
Comment by: totifern
When cutting someone off make sure to look at them until they flip you off and begin to swear and beep the horn very loudly. then proceed in thanking them by waving your hand and driving 20mph in a 40mhp zone.
Comment by: dave
Route 128....Rush Hour.....Breakdown lane is legally in use. So, when you are ready to exit the highway you obviously don't want to get clipped by the morons who travel faster in this lane than the "fast lane". So, what you gotta do is either one of two things. 1. Put your blinker (directional) on a good distance from your exit, but don't actually make your way in to the racing lane just yet.....just making them wonder when you are gonna finally get in "their lane". 2. Drive down the middle of the white lane which divides the two lanes so the motorist in the breakdown lane has no way of getting by you. Always on the offensive!
Comment by: Mike
This one is called "The Block". It's when you are coming out of a side street or parking lot, getting ready to make a left turn. In this situation it is proper to shoot out into the road, blocking the entire direction of traffic to your left while you wait for a break in the other. During this wait, you must wave and smile at the car who has screeched to a stop so that you can make your turn. Screw him. He wasn't going to let you out, and now you win.
Comment by: Angela S.
When you are driving pedestrians don't exist, they are just an illusion in the crosswalk.
Comment by: K
When there is a right hand lane that opens up for drivers to turn into a shopping mall, grocery store etc., that is a good thing, makes it all the easier to get into that busy mall and such, yeah great. But we still have those drivers who want to use that lane to pass vehicles that are in the left lane to continue traveling straight. Just so that they can get ahead of one freakin car, causing traffic woes as, yes it turns back into ONE lane. When you see someone attempting to do this in your rearview mirror, quickly jerk your vehicle to the left and put an end to it. I do this often, and even got a free window wash once, it was the guys spit, but hey... gotta love Massachusetts!
Comment by: Lori
When there is a right hand lane that opens up for drivers to turn into a shopping mall, grocery store etc., that is a good thing, makes it all the easier to get into that busy mall and such, yeah great. But we still have those drivers who want to use that lane to pass vehicles that are in the left lane to continue traveling straight. Just so that they can get ahead of one freakin car, causing traffic woes as, yes it turns back into ONE lane. When you see someone attempting to do this in your rearview mirror, quickly jerk your vehicle to the left and put an end to it. I do this often, and even got a free window wash once, it was the guys spit, but hey... gotta love Massachusetts!
Comment by: Lori
Stop signs at the end of a side street do not mean come to a complete stop before checking for traffic and pedestrians. It means slowly move forward checking for traffic and ignore pedestrians attempting to cross the street. If the pedestrian is surprised by your failure to come to a complete stop, you (the driver) have the right to be outraged. Don't worry, there is almost never a police car in the vicinity to witness this event.
Comment by: Susan
When pulling onto a main street from a side street, it is customary to disobey all stopping and speeding laws to get in front of all the oncoming traffic, just as long as you slow down to less than the speed limit. Bonus points for pick-up trucks and behemoth SUVs with maximum view blocking capabilities for the traffic you've just cut off and slowed.
Comment by: Gio
If highway speed limit signs are unable to be seen due to blizzard conditions. They they are no long in effect. Drive as fast as you want.
Comment by: John In Haverhill
Just because you're in the left turn only lane, it doesn't mean you can't make a right turn.
Comment by: mike
Both Mass. and Jersey drivers: "EXIT ONLY" left and right lanes aren't just for people who actually want to get off the next exit--oh no. There's usually less traffic there, so that means drive as far forward as you can in the EXIT ONLY lane then jump back into moving traffic at the last possible second, cutting off everybody in the through lane.
Comment by: Train Mon!
School buses in the suburbs and rural Western Mass. must stop at every house on every street to pick up every little kid because GOD FORBID parents agree to central drop off and pickup points like in the big cities. Thus the SECOND you see a school bus in these areas slow down and the yellow lights start to flash FLOOR IT!
Comment by: Train Mon!
A true male Massachusetts driver can text message his boss, check the latest stock quotes on his Crackberry, be chatting via bluetooth wireless headset with his wife/girlfriend, read the scores from last nite's Sox game in the paper, watch porn on his pop-up dash-mounted DVD player, and drink a cup of Dunkin' Donuts 360 degree coffee without burning his tongue.
Comment by: Laura

Would You Like To Add Something We Missed?

Please use the submission page to submit information to be used on this page.

This is not an official page of the city of Worcester. The views contained within this site is not from any official or funded by the city in anyway.

Other Features

Copyright 1998-2012 By Charles R. Grosvenor Jr.