In the past year alone, 385 people have been killed on Connecticut roads.
That’s more than one person a day.
Think about that for a moment…
In total, 239 drivers and passengers died in crashes. Seventy-five pedestrians were also struck and killed. That’s an increase of 41.5% and 31%, respectively, over the last five years.
Two years ago, the state legislature created the Vision Zero Council to find a way to reduce highway fatalities in our state dramatically.
Now a bill (HB 5917, An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Vision Zero Council) has just become law in Connecticut.
The central element of HB 5917 – automated enforcement.
What is that exactly?
Automated enforcement involves using speed cameras to catch drivers traveling too fast on our roads. It also consists of the use of red light cameras to catch drivers running red lights.
In states using them widely, collisions have dropped by as much as 40% and deaths by more than 30%.
And given the congestion on our roads, there aren’t enough law enforcement officials to monitor vehicle speeds and intersection safety.
As currently written, the legislation restricts camera placement to school zones, pedestrian safety zones, and locations with high crash rates.
The bill also calls for municipalities to use all funds collected to improve local traffic safety – a win for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Is automated enforcement a violation of privacy rights?
Proponents of the legislation say no (as do the courts so far), pointing to the fact that the cameras only photograph license plates if a car travels more than 10 miles over the speed limit or runs a red light. Any other data collected is required to be deleted immediately. The bill also requires municipalities to install warning signs 100 feet ahead of all cameras to allow drivers time to correct their driving behavior.
Finally, the legislation does not mandate automated enforcement. It simply gives municipalities the right to install these systems.
One thing is sure – doing nothing in the face of this carnage is not an option.
If you’re ever injured in a car accident of any kind, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting drivers injured in accidents for over 65 years. And we have received meaningful state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.