New CT Pedestrian Laws
Pedestrian fatalities are a serious problem in Connecticut, and the numbers continue to rise. In 2020, there were 65 pedestrian fatalities in the state, which represented a five-year high. Distracted driving and larger cars have made serious pedestrian accident injuries a greater likelihood.
Connecticut’s new laws became effective on October 1, 2021. The laws aim to make it easier for pedestrians to get the right of way at a crosswalk.
The Pedestrian Can Get the Right of Way By Signaling
Previously, the pedestrian had to physically enter the crosswalk for drivers to have to yield. By that point, drivers may not be able to stop for whatever reason. This is even worse when the driver is speeding or distracted. Pedestrians had no way of signaling to a driver that they wanted to cross without physically putting their body into the crosswalk.
Now, a pedestrian can signal to the driver while still standing on the curb or next to the crosswalk. The driver would need to yield once the pedestrian signals an intent to enter the crosswalk. The new law says raising a hand is sufficient to signal their intent.
The pedestrian does not need to place their body in the crosswalk to be considered in the crosswalk. Even a dog on a leash or a walking stick is signal enough.
Dooring Is Now Also Illegal
Drivers and passengers cannot block the path of an oncoming pedestrian with an open car door.
The new law maintains penalties for failure to yield, leaving in place the deterrent that tries to motivate drivers to yield. Drivers can face a fine of up to $500 for failing to yield the right of way.
These laws are Connecticut’s effort to diminish rapidly increasing pedestrian fatalities and injuries. However, driver distraction and carelessness remains the cause of most pedestrian fatalities. It remains to be seen whether making it easier for pedestrians to gain the right of way will compensate for inattentive.
Let Connecticut Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Help You
If you or a loved one has been struck and injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. Call the attorneys at Berman & Russo at (860) 644-1548 or contact us online to learn more about your legal options. The consultation is free, and you owe us nothing unless you win your case.