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New Connecticut pedestrian law went into effect Oct. 1


Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Oct 09, 2014 in Pedestrian Accidents

When a pedestrian is struck by a car or truck, the injuries suffered often disproportionately affect the person walking or on a bicycle. The lack of protection pedestrians have as compared to those in vehicles means that those injuries can be quite significant and sometimes even lead to death. Lawmakers in the state of Connecticut take the safety of residents seriously and recently passed a law designed to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities that occur after being struck by a car.

The law is the result of advocacy by the statewide nonprofit group called Bike Walk Connecticut. The goal of that group is to make it better for walkers and cyclists in the state. Many would likely agree that such action is necessary as according to the group, at total of 10,793 pedestrians in Connecticut were hurt or died, between the years of 2006 and 2012.

The new law, called the Vulnerable User law, Public Act 14-31, imposes a fine upon reckless motor vehicle drivers who seriously injure or kill someone considered a “vulnerable user". In addition to pedestrians, vulnerable user is defined as virtually anyone operates a device that is not motorized including:

  • Wheelchair users
  • Cyclists
  • Highway workers
  • Inline skaters
  • Skateboarders

The fine for such an offense could be up to $1,000. The new law expands the pool of drivers who can be held responsible in pedestrian accidents, from those who are reckless, involved in a hit and run crash or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash.

A fine is not all that drivers involved in a pedestrian accident might face. In addition they could also face a personal injury lawsuit. Injured individuals might decide to file such a lawsuit against the driver if he or she is deemed to have acted in a negligent manner.

Source: The Weston Forum, “New Connecticut law fines careless drivers" Patricia Gay, Oct. 9, 2014