New Connecticut Law Addresses Pedestrian Safety and Dooring

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connecticut injury lawyerEveryone should be able to use the road safely, whether they are inside a motor vehicle, on foot, or using other forms of transportation. In recent years, the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians has been a concern due to an increase in the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. The state of Connecticut has attempted to address this issue by passing a new law that is meant to provide additional protection for people who are crossing the street or riding bicycles or other forms of transportation near parked vehicles. This law went into effect on October 1, 2021.

New Requirements for Yielding to Pedestrians

Connecticut drivers are required to yield to pedestrians who are crossing the road at a crosswalk. Previously, this requirement applied once a pedestrian had stepped off of a curb or entered a crosswalk. Under the new law, a pedestrian is considered to be crossing the road if they are within any portion of a crosswalk, if they have stepped to the edge of a curb and indicated their intent to cross the road by raising their hand or arm, or if they move any part of their body or an extension of their body into a crosswalk. An extension of a pedestrian’s body may include a cane, crutch, wheelchair, bicycle, stroller, or cart, as well as a dog that is on a leash or using a harness.

Drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians who are crossing in crosswalks, including slowing down or stopping as necessary to ensure that a person can cross the road safely. If a vehicle has stopped to grant the right of way to pedestrians, any vehicles approaching from the rear are prohibited from passing the vehicle that is stopped.

Prohibitions Against Dooring

“Dooring” occurs when a person in a vehicle opens their door and strikes someone who is traveling near the vehicle. Bicyclists are most commonly affected by dooring, although a driver or passenger may also strike a pedestrian, a person on an electric scooter, or another motor vehicle when opening their door. Dooring can lead to serious injuries, since it can cause a bicyclist to be thrown to the ground, or it may push a person into traffic and cause them to be struck by another vehicle. 

Connecticut’s new law addresses dooring by making it illegal for a person to open the door of their vehicle in a way that causes contact with moving traffic. This traffic may include motor vehicles, bicycles, or scooters that are traveling in a lane of traffic, bicycles or scooters using a bike lane, or pedestrians, bicyclists, or others who are using a sidewalk.

Contact Our Hartford Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Attorneys

While the new law is intended to protect the safety of those who use the roads, drivers may still act negligently and cause injuries to others. In these cases, victims can work with an attorney to determine their options for pursuing compensation for their injuries and damages. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we provide representation for injury victims, helping them receive compensation for their medical treatment, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact our Connecticut personal injury lawyers at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/act/Pa/pdf/2021PA-00028-R00HB-05429-PA.PDF

https://portal.ct.gov/DOT/News-from-the-Connecticut-Department-of-Transportation/2021/Connecticut-Department-of-Transportation-Launches-Campaign-to-Alert-Residents-of-New-Pedestrian-Laws


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