A new law expanding the circumstances under which drivers have to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians is set to take effect in Connecticut.
Under the current law, drivers are required to yield to a pedestrian if the pedestrian has stepped off the curb into the crosswalk, according to the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
The department said the new law requires drivers to slow or stop under the following circumstances:
- If the pedestrian is within any portion of the crosswalk
- If the pedestrian steps to the curb at a crosswalk’s entrance and indicates intent to cross by raising a hand or arm to oncoming traffic
- If the pedestrian indicates intent to cross by moving any body part or extension of a body part into the crosswalk entrance, including a wheelchair, cane, walking stick, crutch, bicycle, electric bicycle, stroller, carriage, cart, or leashed or harnessed dog
This law will go into effect on Friday, Oct. 1. The department added that drivers who fail to yield at a crosswalk when required will continue to be subject to a $500 fine.
“Across the country, we are seeing increased pedestrian fatalities and injuries,” Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said. “Nationally, we saw an unprecedented 55 percent increase in pedestrian deaths between 2009 and 2018. And although we are seeing a small recent decrease, pedestrian fatalities recorded in 2018 and 2019 have not been this high since 1990.”
The department also said another law will also go into effect in October. The law prohibits people from causing physical contact between the door of a vehicle and moving traffic by:
- Opening the door, if the moving traffic is traveling at a reasonable speed with due regard for the safety of people and property
- Leaving it open longer than needed to load or unload passengers
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