Today, Tri-State and other advocacy organizations—including the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters and the Connecticut Citizens Transportation Lobby—are testifying in favor of a Connecticut bill that would penalize motorists whose careless driving harms pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users.
135 pedestrians and cyclists were killed on Connecticut’s roads from 2008-2010, and an average of 1,500 vulnerable users are injured there annually. The state rarely holds drivers accountable for these tragedies, unless they are under the influence or flee from the scene.
This bill would change that. Those who hurt pedestrians, highway workers, cyclists, skateboarders, inline skaters, tractor drivers, or wheelchair users would have to undergo driver retraining, perform community service, and pay a fine of up to $5,000.
The legislation is currently under discussion in the Connecticut General Assembly’s Joint Transportation Committee. In testimony, Tri-State urged legislators to move the bill forward and also asked them to add first responders to the list of vulnerable users. At least three Connecticut first responders have been injured by motorists in the past nine months.
Support for the bill is strong: a group of over 20 organizations, whose combined membership numbers in the thousands, has put out a fact sheet in support of the bill.