New pedestrian law enacted

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An Act Concerning Pedestrian Safety (Public Act 21-28) became effective in Connecticut on Oct. 1. There are two key elements to the new law.

Yielding to Pedestrian in Crosswalks: Under current law, drivers must yield right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk if the pedestrian has stepped off the curb or into the crosswalk. The new act expands the requirement to slow or stop if the pedestrian is within any portion of the crosswalk, or steps to the curb of a crosswalk and indicates intent to cross the road by raising their hand or arm towards oncoming traffic or moves any body part or extension of a body part into the crosswalk’s entrance. An extension of a body part includes a wheelchair, cane, walking stick, crutch, bicycle, electric bicycle, stroller, carriage, cart, or leashed or harnessed dog. Drivers who fail to yield at a crosswalk when required are subject to a $500 fine.

Dooring: A person is prohibited from causing physical contact between a vehicle door and moving traffic by opening the door if the moving traffic is traveling at a reasonable speed and safely, or leaving it open longer than needed to load or unload passengers. Moving traffic includes motor vehicles, bicycles, electric bicycles and electric foot scooters while traveling on the road, and pedestrians, bicycles, electric bicycles and electric scooters traveling on sidewalks, shoulders or bikeways. Violations of this provision are infractions.