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  • Massachusetts State House

    Massachusetts State House

  • Senator Richard J. Ross

    Senator Richard J. Ross

Senator Ross in the News

Senator Ross in the News

Read about Senator Ross in the news and view press releases on legislation, upcoming events and community updates.
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Inside the State House

Inside the State House

Read about legislation that Senator Ross has sponsored and view upcoming events taking place at the State House.
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Senator Ross on the Go

Senator Ross on the Go

View photos of Senator Ross at the State House and at events throughout the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District.
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Voteross.org

Voteross.org

Looking for Senator Richard Ross’ campaign website? Click the link below to visit and learn more about Senator Ross on the campaign trail.
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Hello Friends,

Welcome to my State Senate website! Here you will find legislative and local updates, important state resources, and information on the ways that my office may be able to assist you. It is a true honor to represent the residents of the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex district in the Massachusetts Senate. I encourage you to keep me informed of the issues that are most important to you, and to sign up for my newsletter to receive periodic updates from my Senate office.

 

Sincerely,

Richard J. Ross Signature

Richard J. Ross

State Senator

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Ross Testifies on Bill to Protect Public Safety on State Highways

January 6, 2016

Senator Richard J. Ross testifying before the Joint Committee on Transportation.

Senator Richard J. Ross testifying before the Joint Committee on Transportation.

Boston – On Wednesday, January 6th Senator Richard J. Ross testified before a public hearing of the Joint Committee on Transportation regarding legislation he filed to preserve public safety and prevent trespassing on state highways.

Senator Ross filed the legislation early last year in response to serious public safety concerns on several interstate highways due to several demonstrators stopping traffic.

S1869: An Act Relative to Preserving Public Safety and Preventing Trespassing on State Highways would punish anyone who willfully trespasses upon a state highway without just cause, with a fine of not less than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months.

“Just cause” shall be included but not limited to a disabled vehicle or medical emergency, provided the person offers proof of the situation.

“When traffic is purposely disrupted or stalled to send a message, it is a serious public safety concern. As a legislature, it is our responsibility to ensure that this behavior does not become a trend and that the public is aware of the consequences associated with these actions,” said Senator Ross.

The bill comes as a result of 29 protestors being arrested after blocking I-93 northbound at East Milton Square and I-93 southbound at Mystic Avenue in Medford at 7:30am on Thursday, January 15, 2015. Police reported that the people chained themselves to 1,200 pound barrels causing massive delays. The month before, four men were arrested after trespassing on the Massachusetts Turnpike, causing the major roadway to shut down for several minutes during peak commuting hours.

“While I respect and encourage lawful protesting, we cannot allow lives to be put at risk. The incident that occurred last year resulted in not only considerable delays, but put hundreds of people in danger and prevented ambulances from having efficient access to area hospitals. Increasing penalties would serve as a deterrent and encourage more meaningful discourse and discussion on pertinent issues in appropriate locations,” said Senator Ross.

The bill has a wide range of bipartisan support with 22 cosponsors.

The current penalty for trespassing on a state highway is a fine of not more than fifty dollars or imprisonment of not more than three months.

Please contact the office of Senator Ross with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-1555 or Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.

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