Some 75 Bike to Workers joined Hartford's Mayor Segarra Friday, August 17 for our final Bike to Work breakfast, sponsored by the City of Hartford and Bike Walk Connecticut. The t-shirts were a big hit - thank you to the City of Hartford for providing them and to all who rode in, and volunteered to make the morning a great success!
Photo credits: Emily Moos
By Alex Kerwin, Communications Specialist with DistractedDrivingHelp.com
After a five year decline in traffic fatalities, the first quarter of 2012 saw a 13.5 percent increase from the first quarter of the prior year. Distracted driving is likely a significant factor in the increase in highway fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has documented an increase in distracted driving as a factor in accidents. In 2005, 10 percent of accidents were at least partly caused by distracted driving. That figure increased to 18 percent by 2010. Distracted driving led to 3092 deaths and 416,000 injuries in 2010. Drivers under age 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted in 11 percent of the accidents. Young drivers have the highest rate of distracted driving.
While texting and driving is the most dangerous distracted driving behavior, other types of distractions are also hazardous. Many states have enacted laws to ban handheld devices like cell phones. However, even hands-free equipment users are less safe on the road. A Carnegie Mellon study found that using a cell phone while driving decreases brain activity devoted to driving by 37 percent.
Distracted driving isn’t limited to electronic devices. Eating, drinking, smoking and applying cosmetics also contribute to careless driving. Using navigation systems, reading and adjusting radios or other entertainment devices are other common behaviors by distracted drivers. Any action that takes a driver’s eyes and attention off the road can lead to auto accidents.
In response to the mounting evidence of the dangers of cell phone use by drivers, many states have passed increasingly strict laws banning them. Connecticut has one of the strictest laws in the country. A first offense carries a fine of $125 while three or more offenses cost $400 each. The law applies to both texting and using handheld cell phones. Connecticut drivers under age 18 also face license or permit suspension for up to six months. Restoration of the permit or license requires a $175 fee plus court costs.
The Connecticut law prohibits the use of both hands-free and handheld phones by drivers under age 18. All drivers are banned from using laptops, pagers, digital cameras, video game devices or DVD players.
Since Connecticut enacted their first law banning cell phone use by drivers in 2005, male drivers have received the most tickets for violations. A 2012 analysis by the Associated Press confirmed that males are more likely to be ticketed for violating the law. In 2011, 16,000 tickets were issued to male drivers for violations. Female drivers received 13,690 tickets for cell phone law violations.
While study results have been mixed on whether bans and steep fines decrease cell phone use and texting, these laws have a role to play in eliminating this dangerous behavior. A recent survey of teen drivers conducted by the Ad Council found that 88 percent of teens would decrease or stop texting while driving if it were banned. Large fines, license suspension or other strict penalties would encourage 96 percent of those surveyed to stop texting while operating a vehicle.
Be a part of documenting the increasing levels of walking and bicycling in Connecticut!
The Capitol Region Council of Governments is participating in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Collection program this year. Counts will take place throughout the Capitol Region from September 8 through September 16. Counters observe a location for 2 hours, noting how many bicyclists and pedestrians pass by. This will provide useful information that can help us in planning bicycle and pedestrian facilities. We are looking for folks who can count from 4 to 6 PM on a weekday or 12 to 2 PM (some locations, 1 to 3 PM) on the weekend.
You can count at one location for one 2 hour stint, or if you are energetic, you can volunteer for more than one day and location. If you are interested, please email Annmarie Clarke, firstname.lastname@example.org, and let her know of any preferences regarding location or count time. CRCOG will take it from there and line you up with a location, count forms and instructions.
Thanks, Jeff and Channel 8!
In Western CT? Don't forget the ribbon cutting THIS AM for the new bike/ped trail at Sega Meadows in New Milford on Tuesday Aug14th at 11:00 am, at the Park's north entrance (off River Road).
Today, August 14 is primary day. Bike Walk Connecticut believes we should all exercise our right to vote. It'll take but a few minutes. Polling places are open from 6 am - 8 pm. Some polling places across the state have changed. Not sure where to go to vote? Use the app below to find out.
Here are the candidates. Consider which is more aligned with really making a bikeable and walkable, for a cleaner, healthier
U.S. Senate- Democrat
Susan Bysiewicz, Middletown
Christopher S. Murphy, Cheshire
U.S. Senate – Republican
Linda E. McMahon, Greenwich
Christopher Shays, Bridgeport
U.S. House 2nd District — Republican
Paul M. Formica, East Lyme
Daria Novak Madison
U.S. House 5th District – Democrat
Chris Donovan, Meriden
Elizabeth Esty, Cheshire
Dan Roberti, Kent
U.S. House 5th District – Republican
Justin Bernier, Plainville
Mark Greenberg, Litchfield
Andrew Roraback, Goshen
Lisa Wilson Foley, Simsbury
Now members may add their own event postings to Bike Walk CT's Events & Rides calendar. Just send a meeting invitation to email@example.com.
Note that an invitation is not just an email message. You must use your email client's meeting invitation tool. For help, see these instructions for Gmail users.
Be sure to format your invitation exactly as you wish it to appear. Include the title of your event, the location, date and time, a description, and a link or contact for for details, directions, or registration.
Events must be pedestrian or cycling-related, non-commercial, and non-political. Abuse will be strictly enforced, and abusers will lose posting privileges.
The Frog Hollow NRZ Committee will hold a special meeting on Monday, August 13 at 5:30 PM at the Lyceum, 227 Lawrence Street. The sole topic of this meeting will be the proposed closure of Flower Street, and we will receive a presentation from and discuss this matter with representatives of the Connecticut Department of Transporation.
The following letter from DOT Commissioner James Redeker to Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra outlines at least some of ConnDOT's position on what it will do and what it thinks it should do. It will also frame part of their presentation to the Frog Hollow NRZ Committee on Monday.
For more information, contact Frog Hollow NRZ Chair David Corrigan at firstname.lastname@example.org or see http://fhnrz.com/index.html.
The Farmington Valley Trails Council will hold its 15th annual Trails-in-Motion bicycle tour event on Saturday, September 8th. The event is a rescheduling of the rain-out that occurred on June 2nd. The tour promotes public awareness of the rails-to-trails initiative in the Farmington Valley, attracting new and existing fans of the multi-use trail system. The northern part of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail is now paved 36 continuous miles from southern Farmington through Southwick, MA. The Farmington River Trail is complete from southern Farmington to Route 44 in Canton and has over 10 miles of paved trail.
All events will start and finish at the Iron Horse Boulevard and Mall Way parking lot in the center of Simsbury, CT. Once again, the Town of Simsbury, local police, local retailers, and other area organizations will be providing goods, services and prize items. Septemberfest will proceed as planned across Iron Horse Blvd. as participants return. Last year we had almost 400 participants. This family oriented event is designed for trail users of all abilities, and is fully supported. The signature events are the 10-mile tour (10:30 am start), the 30-mile tour (9:30 am start), and the 50 and 62-mile (metric century) bicycle tours (8:00 am start). Please allow at least 30 minutes to sign in and get ready. All tours utilize the trail system and allow participants to enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in the Farmington Valley, with the longer tours going all the way into Massachusetts. Walkers, runners, and inline skaters are also welcome. Light snacks (energy bars, fruit, and drinks) will be provided at the start. There are several rest stops along the way. A number of door prizes await participants at the finish. All entrance fees go directly to construction, beautification and maintenance of the trails and may be tax deductible. Trails Council President Bruce Donald noted, "It's our major fundraiser each year, but more important than that, it is our chance to showcase one of the finest trail systems in New England and let both veteran users and brand new participants know how much we love it. It is our 20th anniversary this year as an organization and a credit to all of those who have worked tirelessly over the years. We could not be more proud."
Early Registration Fees:AdultsFamily (2 kids)Kids < 12:Members$30.00$45.00$5.00Non-Members*$40.00$60.00$5.00*Non-member registration includes your new FVTC membership
Click here to go directly to active.com
Click here to download and print a registration form.If you would like to volunteer at Trails-in-Motion, please click here.
Please print and display this year's poster - click here.
Route sheet: 10 mile ride and 10k walk-run-skate.
Route sheet: 30 mile ride.
Route sheet: 50 mile/metric century rides.
SmartGrowth Online reports that Minnesota generates over $1 billion in bike-related revenue annually, more than from hunting and snowmobiling combined. To help promote more bicycling in Minnesota, a new interagency campaign labeling Minnesota as "The Bike Friendly State" is being launched. Read the full story here. And check out the video too!
Send us your bike walk related news and time permitting, we'll do our best to post it.