A sharp rise in pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Connecticut has prompted at least one lawmaker to take action. The politician is a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and co-chair of the Transportation Committee, and he has introduced two bills that he hopes will protect the lives of the most vulnerable road users in the state.
The first piece of legislation would give local officials more flexibility when establishing speed limits. The second would grant pedestrians at crosswalks the right of way before they step into the street. More than 50 pedestrians and six cyclists were killed in Connecticut in 2020 after being struck by motor vehicles, and many of these fatal accidents were caused by excessive speed, impairment or distraction.
Vulnerable road users
Connecticut’s Public Act No. 14-31, which was passed in 2014, establishes a maximum fine of $1,000 for motorists who injure vulnerable road users after failing to act with reasonable care. Those who are considered vulnerable road users by law include:
• Highway workers
• People riding or driving animals
• Agricultural tractor operators
• Skaters and skateboarders
The proposed legislation is likely to attract bipartisan support, but the lawmaker behind the bills has other proposals that would likely be opposed fiercely in both the House and Senate. One of his most controversial ideas is installing cameras that would take photographs of speeding cars in areas where motor vehicle accidents linked to reckless driving are common. The registered owners of these cars would then receive speeding tickets in the mail. The representative also wants to increase the penalties for distracted driving.
While government speed cameras remain a hot-button political issue, privately owned cameras have become ubiquitous on city streets. If you are injured in a car accident caused by a negligent motorist, an experienced personal injury attorney could visit the scene of the crash to check for ATM, doorbell or security cameras that may have captured the events on film as they unfolded. This video evidence could then be used in court to establish liability in a lawsuit brought on your behalf.