Pedestrian protection is always a top concern for any city with a mix of pedestrian and automotive traffic. Fortunately, Connecticut lawmakers make a point to push laws forward that prioritize the protection of pedestrians everywhere.
This includes a recently deployed set of laws designed specifically with pedestrians in mind, which to this day are undergoing improvements.
Dooring made illegal
Watch For Me CT lays out the pedestrian laws by which all citizens must abide. Under the updated laws, certain dangerous behaviors have become fine-worthy or even illegal offenses.
This includes dooring, which occurs when a driver parked on the side of the road opens their car door into the street, which can cause bicyclists or pedestrians to run into the door or fall into traffic in their attempt to avoid being hit by it.
Under the new law, drivers parked on the roadside cannot open their doors if the adjacent traffic is moving at a so-called reasonable speed. Drivers also cannot keep the door open longer than the time needed for passengers to disembark.
New pedestrian yield laws
There are also new laws about yielding to pedestrians. Pedestrians in any part of a crosswalk or at a curb with a signal of their intention to cross have the right of way. Any motorist who fails to yield could face a potential fine of up to $500.
This differs from the previous law, which only applied to pedestrians who stepped off of a curb into a crosswalk.
A signal of intention could include extending any part of the body into the crosswalk, a raised hand or arm, or placing any mobility object like a wheelchair or stroller, or even an animal like a pet dog into the crosswalk.