massachusetts


Emergency Vehicles – Move Over & Save a Life

Police across Massachusetts and New Hampshire have announced they will be increasing their efforts in enforcing the laws requiring drivers to move over when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the road. State police in New Hampshire report about 25 accidents a year in which troopers or their vehicles were struck by other vehicles when stopped at construction details or traffic stops.

The seriousness of this measure needs to be understood by all. This past July 17th 2010 a Massachusetts trooper was sitting in his cruiser after pulling a driver over when he was struck by another motorist. The second motorist who collided with the trooper’s cruiser was cited on DWI charges however police note distracted driving is one of the greatest factors in these accidents.

New Hampshire and Massachusetts police said they are doing their best to educate drivers of the law requiring motorists to move over a lane when an emergency vehicle’s lights are flashing. The state police have also noted they will be enforcing this law with greater diligence. Some drivers have complained it’s difficult to move over a lane due to additional traffic – in these cases the state police have said the motorist should slow down or face a fine.

Trooper Thomas Lencki was able to escape an accident in 2003 where another motorist crashed into the back of his vehicle:

“I noticed an SUV coming into the breakdown lane at a high rate of speed… I was able to move a little bit to protect myself and the woman, and he hit me at about 78 mph, pushed me into the Jersey barrier and then pushed me into her.”

Distracted driving can have grave consequences. If you see an emergency vehicle flashing lights, move over a lane – you may just save a life.

Massachusetts 1000 Greatest Places… Road Trip Anyone?

Massachusetts legislature has evaluated more than 12,000 nominated locations across Massachusetts and released a list of “1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts”. The greatest places list was approved by legislators and signed by Deval Patrick last year in an effort to lure more tourists to the Bay State. For a fun weekend trip or less-expensive summer vacation, take a Massachusetts road trip – become a tourist yourself!

The list of great Massachusetts places includes the typical tourist spots, but it also mentions the lesser known wonders as well. Some of the obscure places mentioned on the list include: the Paul Bunyan statue in Bellingham, the Songline Emu Farm in Gill and the glacial potholes of Shelburne Falls. Use the 1,000 greatest places list as a map to explore the Commonwealth with a new set of eyes.

While hosting guests from out of state this list is key to showing them the great culture and beauty your Bay State has to offer. Guests may want to tour the more famous locations such as Plymouth Rock, Walden Pond, the Old North Church, Tanglewood and the Cape Cod National Seashore -all of which the list includes. Organized by city your guests can tour just a few surrounding towns and experience more of Massachusetts than the typical vacationer.

Even if you don’t have time for a weekend trip or vacation throw the list of 1,000 greatest places in your glove box for later on. If you finish a meeting early or find extra time to kill these wonderful locations can be a great escape from the daily grind. For the complete list of the Massahcusetts 1,000 greatest places click here.

Massachusetts License Plate Lottery Open!

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation begun accepting application for the 2010 Low Number License Plate Lottery yesterday. Those who enter their names into the drawing are hoping for 179 of the most sought after Massachusetts license plates including: R12, F17 and 55A.

“Every year the plate lottery generates thousands of applicants because all drivers have an equal shot at winning one of these coveted plates… Last year more than six thousand people participated and this year we expect even greater interest.”

– Registrar Rachel Kaprielian.

Applications for the license plate lottery are available in all RMV branches and online at: www.mass.gov/rmv/forms/registration.htm. To be accepted all applications must be postmarked no later than August 9th 2010. Postcard entries, as indicated by MassDOT, will not be accepted. Those who have won the lottery and do not register their vehicles by December 31, 2010 will forfeit their license plates and will be offered to a list of 25 alternative winners who will be chosen during the main drawing.

The lottery winners will be announced at a live drawing at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum Saturday August 28th at 11:00 am. Admission to the museum and the current “Curve Appeal” exhibit will be free to all applicants. For official drawing details and a complete list of the plates up for drawing visit: www.mass.gov/rmv. Lottery winners will be posted on the RMV website Monday, August 30th.

Massachusetts Makes Top 10 for Least Expesive Auto Insurance

A recent survey published by Insure.com has revealed the United States most and least expensive states for auto insurance. The study was based on the average auto insurance premium for more than 2,400 vehicles in 10 zip codes per state with six of the United State’s largest auto insurance providers.

With an average auto insurance premium of $2,510.87, Lousiana takes the lead for the most expensive state to insure a vehicle. Insure.com reasons Louisiana holds this title as a result of the state’s court system and the rough condition its roads are in. Not far behind is Michigan as the second most expensive state to insure an auto at an average premium of $2,098.29. Michigan’s high insurance rates can be attributed to a state medical law and a terribly high unemployment rate. With unemployment at a whopping 15% many are driving uninsured, which increases the burden on insurance companies and in turn a driver’s premium.

Maine however has nothing to complain about as it comes in as the least expensive state to insure a vehicle with an average premium of $902.85. Maine’s low rates can be attributed to a couple factors including less people on the road and less traffic congestion as well as a low number of accident claims. Additionally at least 30 insurance providers offer coverage in Maine, increasing competition and pushing premiums down.

When the Massachusetts auto insurance market was deregulated additional insurance providers entered the scene encouraging greater competition and gradually lower auto insurance premiums. Massachusetts holds out as at the 7th least expensive state to insure an automobile. The best way to find the lowest insurance premium is through comparing quotes through different carriers. MassDrive compares auto insurance premiums and coverages for you, saving you time and money. Give a friendly MassDrive agent a call for a free quote comparison today!

TOP TEN MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE STATES FOR AUTO INSURANCE & AVERAGE PREMIUM

Top Ten Most Expensive:

1. Louisiana $2,510.87
2. Michigan $2,098.29
3. Oklahoma $1,869.39
4. Montana $1,857.96
5. California $1,774.41
6. South Dakota $1,772.83
7. Washington, D.C. $1,753.19
8. Georgia $1,751.42
9. Illinois $1,679.15
10. Connecticut $1,678.90

Top Ten Least Expensive:

1. Maine $902.85
2. Vermont $968.58
3. Ohio $999.86
4. Wisconsin $1,010.93
5. New Hampshire $1,011.23
6. Iowa $1,039.04
7. Massachusetts $1,043.80
8. North Carolina $1,130.45
9. Arizona $1,152.50
10. Tennessee $1,170.12

Rains Subside – Clean Up Begins Again

Mother Nature pulled a not so funny April Fools on Massachusetts residents. The rain finally subsided in New England yesterday bringing over 18 inches of recorded rainfall, a record breaking amount. Although dry weather and warmer temperatures are foretasted for Easter weekend the flooding rivers are not expected to fall as quickly as the clearing weather. Residents, engineers and public safety officials wait for the flood warnings to be removed and clean up to commence once more.

As some rivers have yet to crest other’s levels have just begun falling. The Assabet River crested at a nerve wrecking 7 feet Wednesday and remained at 6.8 feet this morning. The Concord River crested at an enormous 9.4 feet and the Charles River continues to rise expecting to crest at about 7.7 feet this afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service El Niño, a climate pattern surfacing in the tropical Pacific every three to five years and is to blame for the high levels of rainfall this past March. Rainfall in Boston lingering around 14 inches Tuesday makes it not only the rainiest March on record, but the second wettest month ever after a rainy August in 1995.

Rick Ferreira, the Tuanton Emergency Management Agency director, said this is the worst flooding he’s seen in the entirety of his career with the Emergency Management.

“This is much worse than a couple weeks ago. We’ve got houses with 3, 4, 5 or even 6 feet of water in their basements.” – Ferreira

Scott LacLeod, a spokesman for the state Emergency Management Agency, said the largest concerns yesterday were in southeastern Massachusetts, where flooding mandated closure of a major highway and cut off about 1,000 residents of Freetown when a bridge was made impassable. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation reported dozens of flooded roads and caution residents to drive safely while standing water remains on the roads.

Third Flooding Brings National Guard

Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency yesterday for the second time this month as heavy rain returns to the Bay State. The third heavy rainfall this month brought a total of 11 inches of rain to Boston, a record breaking downfall. The National Weather Service reported areas of Massachusetts experienced 12.8 inches of rain this March. The Weather Service expects this number to rise to more than 15 inches by the end of the day today. Only second to a tropical August in 1955 this is one of the wettest months areas of Massachusetts has ever experienced.

Rivers continue to rise form their already swollen state as the relentless rains continue to fall. National Guard services were activated yesterday for various precautionary tasks in an effort to curb additional flooding from residential areas and businesses. Seven hundred National Guard troops were deployed this morning to help with the storm efforts.

Monday afternoon President Obama replied to Governor Patrick’s request for federal aid declaring the state a federal disaster area bringing federal funding to Massachusetts. Patrick said the funding will be used to bring housing back to a livable state offering grants to homeowners for things such as new water heaters and furnaces for flooded basements. Business owners will also have the opportunity to apply for low interest loans.

During a press conference yesterday the Governor did not call for specific areas to be evacuated however cautioned residents to closely observe the storm and if needed be prepared to evauate. Last night the Charles and Sudbury River levels exceeded flooding stages. Patrick advocated for drivers to use public transportation warning drivers it only takes two feet of standing water to sweep a vehicle away, with the driver in it.

Deval Writes Obama for Flood Disaster Declaration

Governor Deval Patrick has written President Obama asking for a declaration of disaster in Massachusetts. This would bring federal funds to residents and businesses who have suffered losses from the recent storm and flooding. Patrick’s office has reported hundreds of homes suffering significant, uninsured damages; more than 1,000 experienced minor but still considerable losses; and many nursing homes have needed to be evacuated. Residents still question whether their homes are safe to live in after sustaining major damages.

His letter to the president cites the record breaking rainfall of 6 to 10 inches in some areas of Bristol, Essex, Norfolk, Middlesex, Plymouth and Suffolk counties. The letter specifically mentions the death of a Middleton resident while he was pumping water out of his business and hospitalization of a Dedham man injured when a sewer pipe burst while removing water from his basement.

“Floodwaters poured into thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses, forcing residents to evacuate and posing health risks associated with sewage backups and mold growth,”

Governor Deval Patrick in his letter to the President

A disaster declaration may open a verity of programs to both residents and businesses according to Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Federal grants may be given to residents to make home repairs and replace heating or electrical systems. Federal funding may also help those who have been displaced due to flooding by helping pay for the temporary housing costs. Disaster programs would be made available to residents in Essex, Middlesex, Worcester, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth counties. Last week Federal Emergency Management Agency and state emergency officials inspected flooded areas to appreciate damages suffered by homeowners.

Although the rain has held off thus far Massachusetts residents are in for another trying weekend. Pull out your winter jackets and gloves, according to the National Weather Service temperatures are to drop today and tomorrow with a chance of rain.

Things to keep in mind while shopping around

While reviewing your insurance there are a few things you want to keep in mind. Make sure you know if there is going to be any changes from your old policy to your new one. You don’t want to lose coverage; the point of shopping around is to get you the best coverage while still getting you a better price. Are you receiving the proper discounts that match your specific situation? Many insurance companies offer discounts depending on a variety of factors. Some discounts are required by law and others are optional for insurance carriers. In addition, two carriers may offer the same discounts but the amount of that discount could vary from carrier to carrier.

At MassDrive you will not only find professionals in the insurance field that can answer all of your questions with your interests in mind. You will also find a variety of resources available to you as a Massachusetts auto insurance consumer. Our goal is to find every Massachusetts customer the right policy at a price the driver can afford. Our only focus is Massachusetts and because we’re Massachusetts drivers ourselves, we feel a responsibility to deliver results to you.

Swine Flu Shots in Massachusetts

Local health departments were directed to cancel scheduled swine flu vaccinations next month as shipments of the vaccination run weeks behind. A shortage of swine flu vaccines are seen not only in Massachusetts, but nation wide. Production facilities are unable to make adequate doses of the two flu vaccinations, the standard flu vaccination and the H1N1 vaccination. If you find a clinic offering this vaccine, plan on arriving early as it is likely hundreds of other people will stand in line with you.

Over 53% of those effected by the swine flue have been under the age of 25.  Since April 1,768 cases of swine flu have been reported in Massachusetts. A total of 300,000 vaccines have been administered in Massachusetts to people with highest risk including pregnant women and young children.  If you fall into a high risk group please keep checking for vaccine availability with your local clinic and physician.

Autumn Adventures

Autumn’s cooler temps bring a variety of outdoors adventures. Looking for something new, check out the affordable day and weekend activities Massachusetts has to offer:

Visit Mass.gov for more outdoor adventure ideas.

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