The Newington Delegation in the Connecticut General Assembly – myself along with State Rep. Kate Farrar (D-West Hartford, Newington) and State Sen. Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) – will hold a roadway safety forum on March 29 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Lucy Robbins Welles Library.
Newington Town Councilor Mitch Page and representatives from the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and the Newington Police Department will also participate in the forum.
Last year, 385 people were killed on Connecticut roadways, and more than 1,400 people were seriously injured. Thus far, in 2023, more than 45 people have been killed, including State Representative Quentin “Q” Williams of Middletown by a wrong-way driver in January.
The number of people killed or injured on state roads is startling, especially when so many of them were the result of preventable crashes. I hope the public will engage with us on this topic because while we are working to pass important legislation, we also need to work closely with everyone in our community and beyond to find ways to make our roads safer.
Last week, the Transportation Committee, of which Rep. Farrar and I are both members, passed critical roadway safety bills that now head to the floor of the House or Senate for further consideration.
SB 1082 lowers the blood alcohol content level needed to be declared “under the influence” while driving or boating from 0.08 to 0.05 by body weight.
HB 5917 implements the recommendations of the Vision Zero Council, which include: a ban on open containers of alcohol in a motor vehicle; mandatory use of motorcycle helmets; the creation of a new State Police fatal collision reduction team; DMV driver retraining classes based on the specific motor vehicle violation (i.e., DUI, speeding, etc.); the creation of a new DMV video highlighting a driver’s need to observe pedestrians and bicyclists that they must watch before earning a driver’s license; and the ability of cities and towns to install high-speed and red-light enforcement cameras in school and pedestrian zones and other areas where traffic accidents are an issue.
HB 6746 requires CTDOT to expand efforts to implement wrong-way driving countermeasures and requires driver’s education programs to include instruction concerning ways to reduce wrong-way driving incidents and actions to take when an operator encounters a motor vehicle being operated in the wrong direction.