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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 on 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."

The 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.”

kma May 03, 2012 at 04:06 PM
So, instead of smacking little kids across their butts for riding skates and skateboards in the street the senate wants to reward their parents with lawsuits. Frikin' brilliant.
Kristy Waizenegger May 03, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Actually Mrs. Stegall, contrary to your comment, the car always loses. Despite laws that require bicyclists to follow the same rules of the road as cars, in civil suits, motor vehicle owners are almost always found legally liable for injuries to a bicyclist. I have seen cases in which the bicyclist was riding on the wrong side of the road in which the bicylist prevails. "Vulnerable users" are only vulnerable if they are doing something reckless or not following the rules of the road. This sounds pretty silly to me.
Sandy May 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I agree with you Kristy. This is totally outrageous. Bike riders consistently disobey the laws of the road, and the drivers are to be held responsible for the accidents that they cause? Issue plates for every bicylist so we can report them when they run red lights, fail to stop at stop signs or yeild at yeild signs. Walkers and Equestrians are not flaunting the laws of the road, but bicylists sure are. I see it every day! Let the police issue tickets to them for moving violations. They are vehicles and are breaking the law.
Barry Rahmy June 07, 2013 at 08:51 AM
Bicyclists must definitely follow the rules of the road. As a cyclist I have no objection to law-breakers being cited, whether they're on two or four wheels.

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