"Tristan's Law" Helps Protect Children at Ice Cream Trucks

July 27, 2021

Keeping our children safe is an important responsibility of your government, and this legislative session we passed Public Act 21-20 to strengthen the traffic safety measures of ice cream trucks in order to increase visibility to other drivers.

This new law is known as “Tristan’s Law,” named after Tristan Barhorst, a 10-year-old boy from Wallingford who was hit by a passing car after purchasing ice cream last summer. Our federal delegation is now advocating to make Tristan's law a nationwide standard.

Tristan's Law

The law requires ice cream trucks to increase their visibility to other drivers; warning drivers that children may be present by adding similar features to that of a school bus, such as:

  • Red flashing lights on the roof
  • Convex mirror on the front hood
  • Front crossing arm attached to the bumper
  • Stop signal arm extending horizontally from the left side of the truck

It also requires all traffic to stop ten feet in front of or behind the ice cream truck when the front crossing arm is extended. The law also prohibits trucks from vending ice cream on any road with a speed limit greater than 25 miles per hour or within 500 feet of an elementary or middle school on school days.

Additionally, the Department of Motor Vehicles is committed to include the new traffic laws around ice cream trucks in the Drivers Education curriculum, because the prevention of these accidents is dependent on all drivers knowing and understanding the law.

Tristan's Law

You can read a Hartford Courant feature article about the importance of "Tristan's Law" here.