Can Massachusetts Police Conduct Roadside Speed Traps with Their Lights Off?
Massachusetts is home to a long list of strange and antiquated laws. Everything from growing goatees to singing the national anthem and even the act of mowing your law has some weird guidelines in the Commonwealth.
One of the most regulated aspects of life for Massachusetts residents is driving. Massachusetts has some of the most stringent laws regarding roadways and regulates everything from who can drive when they can drive, what they can drive, and how they can modify their vehicles. Now all of these laws are of course in place for people's safety but compared to some other states that let you put basically anything with wheels on the road, it can seem overbearing at times.
There is perhaps no more significant rule of the road than the speed limit. While again, it is there for people's safety, pretty much everyone at one point or another has violated that limit, even if by just a few miles per hour. There is no worse feeling than driving down the road, over the speed limit, and you come around the corner to see a police officer and fly right past them. Did you ever think to yourself, crap, I didn't even see them!
When I first got my driver's license, there was always a "rumor" that police officers couldn't pull you over if they were sitting on the side of the road with their lights off. In order for them to be able to ticket you, the lights had to be on, otherwise, it was entrapment. I can't pinpoint when the first time I heard this was, but it was always one of those old wives' tale type of thing and I never exactly knew if it was true. Spoiler alert: it's not.
In Massachusetts, Is It Illegal for Police to Sit with Their Lights Off and Stop You for Speeding?
According to Cook Attorneys:
Police in Massachusetts do not have to have their lights on at night. They can legally hide with their lights off. And they can pull you over for violating the law, whether they advertised their presence or not. It is not considered entrapment in a court of law.
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