New Changes to Connecticut Law that Recently Took Effect

Every year Connecticut passes a host of changes to its civil and criminal laws. 2021 is no different, as there are several new laws that came into effect on October 1. Some of these laws impact driving and pedestrian safety.

New Seatbelt Laws

Previously, only occupants of the front seat of the vehicle had an obligation to buckle up. Now, all occupants of the vehicle must wear seatbelts. If you’re in an accident, but not at fault, your case may be affected if all passengers are not properly belted.

New Pedestrian Crossing Laws

The new pedestrian law aims to increase pedestrian safety and diminish the last decade’s growing fatalities.

Previously, pedestrians had to physically step into the crosswalk to get the right of way – a dangerous risk. Now, pedestrians can signal their intent to enter the crosswalk with a hand signal from the sidewalk, and drivers must yield.

Drivers must improve their awareness of crosswalks and watch for people near them.

If any part of the pedestrian enters the crosswalk, such as a walking stick, or even a leashed dog, the driver must yield. The fine for failure to yields is $500 in Connecticut. The hope is raising the fine will motivate drivers to pay more attention to crosswalks and reduce pedestrian fatalities.

Expanded Definition of Domestic Violence

The new domestic violence law greatly expands the definition to include different types of domestic abuse qualifying as criminal. The legal definition of domestic violence now includes “coercive control,” like:

Coercive control means threatening, humiliating, or intimidating acts which harm a person and/or deprive them of freedom. The definitions are intentionally broad to allow for all of the ways people of all ages can be victimized by others.

The law also makes it easier for victims of domestic violence to testify on their own behalf. They can still be cross-examined, but do not have to appear in court – they can testify remotely.

Speak with a Northeast Hartford Personal Injury Attorneys

Domestic violence laws require carefully crafted arguments. The attorneys at Berman & Russo can help if you have been charged. Call us today at (860) 644-1548 or contact us online to get the legal assistance that you need.