Groups Rally to Stiffen Penalties for “Vulnerable User” Accidents

In an effort to keep pedestrians and cyclists safer on Connecticut’s highways, lawmakers are considering a new bill that would stiffen penalties for drivers who injure or kill these “vulnerable users.” According to reports from the Hartford Courant, the bill would make a convicted driver do community service, take a driver-retraining course, and pay a fine of up to $5,000.

Advocates of the bill, including Sierra Club, the Shoreline Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition, Greenwich Safe Cycling, and the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, say that vehicles are responsible for hitting and injuring more than 1,500 cyclists and pedestrians in the state of Connecticut each year. They add that drivers are rarely punished for their carelessness that caused the crash unless drugs or alcohol are involved.

A version of the bill failed to pass in 2010 and 2011 because the bill’s opponents say it would promote reckless cycling and may put innocent drivers at risk of being punished.

Committee members began to examine and discuss the bill this past Wednesday and will continue to discuss it over the next several weeks before a vote by legislators.

The Connecticut personal injury lawyers with Carter Mario Law Firm would like to remind citizens that Connecticut state law requires that cyclists and motorists share the road with one another. Remember to give each other space in order to keep everyone safe, no matter what your means of transportation.