New RI Traffic Law in 2017: Don't Block the Box

Have you ever found yourself at a busy intersection, when the light turned green but you were unable to move forward because of cars sitting in your path? Rhode Island is trying to fix this common traffic problem.

On January 1, 2017, Rhode Island’s new “Don’t Block the Box” law went into effect. This law will cause RI drivers to be fined if they proceed into designated intersections without sufficient space to pass, even if the traffic light is in their favor. R.I. Gen. Laws § The legislation is intended to stop the backup of traffic in busy intersections, which has the potential to cause car accidents and pedestrian safety hazards.

Drivers can be fined $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second, and $500 for three or more violations. Before the law was passed, drivers who blocked the box were given verbal warnings.

Drivers will be alerted to which intersections are affected by the law. And it will take some time before municipalities pass the local regulations necessary to implement the law. The Don’t Block the Box law requires municipalities to designate which intersections are affected, to put up signs, and to paint a white box around the boundary of these intersections.

Neighboring Boston and Hartford have passed similar legislation. Boston’s pilot program in the summer of 2012 had great results. Boston documented a reduction in intersection blocking by nearly 50% at designated intersections. If you are in Rhode Island or Boston, watch for those “Don’t Block” signs at busy intersections.

If you’ve been in an auto accident, contact Mike for a free consultation. Attorney Mike Bottaro and our team at the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC know how to properly value your car accident claim and help you get back on your feet. Give us a call so we can help you: 401-777-7777