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Senate Passes Bill to Fine Drivers That Hit 'Vulnerable' Users

Offenders would face $1,000 fine on top of existing criminal charges, according to the Stamford Advocate.

The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would fine drivers up to $1,000 for injuring or killing pedestrians, bicyclists, highways workers and others users of roads considered to be "vulnerable," on top of any existing criminal charges, according to the Stamford Advocate.

Vulnerable users would also include blind individuals escorted by guide dogs, inline skaters, individuals in wheelchairs, horseback riders, farm-tractor drivers and skateboarders. Drivers deemed as not using "reasonable care" would be fined on the condition that the victims were deemed as using "reasonable care."

Two weeks after a in March, a resident submitted a about the town's reckless drivers, which warned: 'Let's not wait until Main Street becomes littered with memorials.'

The Senate bill, , originally required offenders to attend a driver re-education program and face a penalty of up to $5,000 and/or 120 hours of community service.

"In today’s hectic world, road rage and are common occurrence," Amy Stegall, president of Connecticut Horse Council, told the Transportation Committee last year. "Unfortunately, motorists are sharing the road with pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians, and when you have a collision, the car 'always' wins."

Jason Bagley (Editor) May 04, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Some comments left on the Stratford Patch Facebook page: RobinLynn Farrar: "Pedestrians/cyclists need to be responsible as well. On several occasions, I have seen people not even paying attention, just continue walking/cycling & they do not have the right of way. All the blame is usually placed on drivers but they have to abide by the laws as well." Robert Chambers: "Aren't there enough laws on the books? this isn't going to make the roads safer, only more expensive when accidents happen." Jack Bradley: "How about a fine for reckless skateboarders & bicyclists." Allison Laura Sanborn: "http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/berkeley-hit-and-run-caught-on-tape_n_1459543.html" Like us: http://www.facebook.com/StratfordPatch
CuriousOrange May 05, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Why doesn't the state legislature do more to curb abuses of lobbying, particularly from out of state interests following national agendas?
Anne K. Mulligan May 05, 2012 at 01:55 PM
As a frequent pedestrian, I often feel I'm taking my life into my hands. Drivers who ignore crosswalks, abuse right-turn-on-red and and treat a driveway/sidewalk as if it's just another part of the road are a huge problem. I think stiffer penalties for these kind of abuses is entirely appropriate.
Michael May 05, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Anne,i disagree. Pedestrians and bicyclists also need to abide by the traffic rules too. I see tons of folks like yourself who walk across streets that are not crosswalks. Walking right across traffic as cars have the right of way especially when the traffic light is green. That is why we have sidewalks. Sidewalks were created for the purpose of allowing pedestrians and bicyclists and skateboarders to use. There needs to be re-education for folks to learn about sidewalks, how to pay attention to traffic rules and maybe face fines as well.
Michael May 05, 2012 at 03:19 PM
And another point too. Driveways are not pedestrian walk-ways . They are for the purpose of the property owner to park, move their cars around on any way they see fit. Plus stiffer penalties is a waste of time. Governments need to spend more time dealing with more important things.
Michael May 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Also, what about careless pedestrians who walk on train tracks or on a busy highways. ??? What next issue fines for train engineers who hit careless mindless idiots or the drivers on i95 who hit careless pedestrians who use the highway as if its their sidewalk

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