According to CT’s Department of Transportation, over the past five years Connecticut has averaged about 58 pedestrian fatalities annually. Thanks to An Act Concerning Pedestrian Safety, new state legislation that went into effect on October 1st, our state is becoming safer for pedestrians and cyclists. “The Pedestrian Rules,” is a campaign by the Connecticut Department of Transportation that makes the public aware of these new laws ensuring public safety. Watch this video by CT Rides to learn about it.
Yielding to Pedestrians at Crosswalks
Under the act, a driver must do so if the pedestrian: 1. is within any portion of the crosswalk; 2. steps to the curb at a crosswalk’s entrance and indicates intent to cross the road by raising his or her hand and arm toward oncoming traffic; or 3. indicates intent to cross the road by moving into the crosswalk’s entrance any body part or any extension of a body part, including a wheelchair, cane, walking stick, crutch, bicycle, electric bicycle, stroller, carriage, cart, or leashed or harnessed dog.
This law prohibits a person from causing physical contact between a vehicle door and moving traffic by (1) opening the door, if the moving traffic is traveling at a reasonable speed with due regard for the safety of people and property, or (2) leaving it open longer than needed to load or unload passengers.
Violations of this provision are considered infractions. Under the act, “moving traffic” includes motor vehicles, bicycles, electric bicycles, and electric foot scooters traveling on the highway and pedestrians and people riding bicycles, electric bicycles, or electric foot scooters on sidewalks, shoulders, or bikeways.
Drivers who fail to yield at a crosswalk when required are subject to a $500 fine For more detailed info on the rules go to ThePedestrianRules.com.
“The new Pedestrian Rules are an important step in making our roads safer and more comfortable for all users, including people walking, biking, and driving,” said Sarah Roy, chair of the Fairfield Bike and Pedestrian Committee. “We also need to make sure that we are generating as much public awareness of the new rules as possible–and we need to couple these new rules with road diets and infrastructure improvements that force drivers to slow down and pay closer attention to the human activity around their car.”
Fairfield is already a great town for runners, walkers, (with or without dogs) and cyclists. Hopefully in the future, participation in these healthy mobilities will increase even more, alleviating traffic and pollution problems, and making our community closer and more human.