New law protects bicyclists
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Nov 5, 2008 - 12:38 PM

Governor M. Jodi Rell today reminded motorists that a new Connecticut law adds more protections for bicyclists that include giving bikes more space when passing and creating a public awareness campaign on how to safely share the road.

“We must strive to keep our roadways safe for all users – from 18-wheelers to 10-speed bikes to pedestrians,” Governor Rell said. “The initiatives in this new law are intended to help everyone share the road safely and responsibly.”

The new law (Public Act 08-01, effective October 1, 2008) requires motorists to allow at least three feet of separation when overtaking and passing cyclists on state roads. Motorists who fail to do so risk fines.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is also required to create a “Share the Road” campaign to educate motorists and cyclists of their responsibilities and needs and to encourage the public to adopt practices which make travel safer for all users. A “Share the Road” pilot program will be conducted in the greater Hartford area in the spring of 2009.

Another initiative being administered by ConnDOT, which is directed to enhancing bicycle and pedestrian mobility, is the “Safe Routes to School” program. This program provides funds to municipalities that are selected through a competitive process for projects that educate, encourage and improve safe walking and bicycling for students grades kindergarten through eighth grade along primary routes to and from schools.

“I have also directed DOT to find ways to allow more bikes on trains on the new passenger cars that are expected to be delivered beginning in 2010,” Governor Rell said.

The Governor said current Metro North passenger rail cars will be retrofitted with mounted bike racks without reducing the number of seats or wheel chair accessibility.

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