Pedestrians, you may now advance to the crosswalk, signal that you intend to cross, and cross safely in compliance with law.
Also, it is now against the law for a motorist to open a car door into your path to hit you.
Connecticut has passed important new laws to protect pedestrians while crossing the street at a crosswalk. . The new rules, which take effect October 1, 2021, permit the pedestrian to signal oncoming traffic that the pedestrian intends to cross the street, and require the driver to slow or stop the car to let the pedestrian cross.
The pedestrian can step to the curb, at the crosswalk, and signal intention to cross by raising his or her hand and arm toward oncoming traffic. The pedestrian can also signal intention to cross “ . . . . by moving his or her body, or an extension thereof, including, but not limited to a wheelchair, cane, walking stick, crutch, bicycle, electric bicycle, stroller, carriage, cart, or leashed or harnessed dog, into the crosswalk at the entrance to the crosswalk.”
These new laws apply at marked crosswalks and “unmarked crosswalks.” An unmarked crosswalk is “ . . . . that portion of a highway ordinarily included within the prolongation or connection of the lateral lines of sidewalks at intersections . . . .” In other words, the place where the crosswalk lines would logically be painted if the sidewalk were to continue across the intersection.
Once the driver slows down or stops to let the pedestrian cross, other cars, behind the car that has stopped, may not pass the stopped vehicle. Connecticut General Statutes §14-300 (c), effective October 1, 2021.
Motorists, do not open your car door into “moving traffic.” Connecticut will have a new law protecting “moving traffic” including pedestrians, bicyclists, e-bicyclists, or riders of electric scooters from being hit by open car doors. The law required motorists to close their doors after passengers are loaded or unloaded. It prohibits people from opening their car doors to cause physical contact with pedestrians, bicyclists, e-bikers or others using sidewalks, shoulders or bikeways. Violation of this new statute is an infraction—the police can give you a ticket for “dooring” somebody. Connecticut Public Act 21-28, Section 4.
If you are injured in a collision, as a pedestrian, a bicyclist, an e-bicyclist, or someone riding a scooter, a powered scooter, a battery-powered single-wheel, a skateboard, or other alternative means of transportation, please contact the lawyers at Jacobs & Dow to see if you have a case. Initial consultations are free. If we can help you, we will.