It's official. It took five years to get it passed, but the Governor has now signed the Vulnerable User bill into law. Senate Bill 336 is now Public Act 14-31.
The vulnerable user law requires a fine to be imposed on reckless motor vehicle drivers who cause the death or serious injury of a pedestrian, cyclist, wheelchair user, or other vulnerable users who were using reasonable care. The fine is capped at $1000.
Congratulations to us. Just another reminder that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens really can make a difference.
Word is that the House just passed SB 336, the Vulnerable User Bill! More to follow.
Verify at http://1.usa.gov/1c13BXM.
We have just ONE week left in the 2014 legislative session to get our Vulnerable User bill passed. The Senate has pulled its weight, now it's time for the House to get moving.
This is the fifth year the Vulnerable User bill has been proposed. Wedon't want to hear that the House "ran out of time" yet again to vote on this important safety measure for cyclists and pedestrians. And not having a VU bill, year after year, is hurting our bike friendly state ranking.
Please email or call your State Representative and House Leadership--Reps. Brendan Sharkey and Joe Aresimowicz-- today to call the Vulnerable User bill, SB 336, for a vote.
We need safer streets this year. From 2006 to 2012, more than 10,000 pedestrians and cyclists were injured or killed on Connecticut roads.
Speaking up makes all the difference, and the more of us who do, the stronger our bike ped community is. This is no time to sit on the sidelines!
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About the VU Bill, SB 336
Great news! The Senate passed the Vulnerable User bill 33-0, with 3 absent and not voting, last evening.
Thank you Senators Beth Bye and Toni Boucher for sponsoring the bill.
Thank you Senators Don Williams and Martin Looney for bringing the bill to a vote.
Thank you to all Senators for supporting the bill.
Thank you to all of our members who contacted Senate Leadership in the last few days. They heard us!
And now, on to the House. Stay tuned for updates.
Action Alert! Bike Walk Community (That's You!) Urged to Contact Senate Leadership re Vulnerable User Bill
We have just two weeks left in the 2014 legislative session to get our Vulnerable User bill passed. That means it's time for the bike ped community (that includes you!) to turn up the volume!
This is the fifth year the Vulnerable User bill has been proposed. We don't want to hear that our legislators "ran out of time" again this year to vote on this important safety measure for cyclists and pedestrians.
Please email or call Senator Don Williams and Senator Martin Looney today to call the Vulnerable User bill, SB 336, for a vote.
Stay tuned! Effective advocacy requires tenacity and dogged persistence, so it may be necessary to keep calling and emailing every day until the bill is voted on.
Speaking up makes a difference, and the more of us who do, the better! Thank you for working with us to make Connecticut a better place to bike and walk.
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About the VU Bill, SB 336
Bike Walk CT send the following message to state senators, urging SB 336 to be raised for a vote and passed:
Please Raise and Pass SB 336, the Vulnerable User Bill -- This Year!
Bike Walk Connecticut urges the Senate to raise and pass SB 336, the Vulnerable User bill. This is the fifth year the bill has been raised. The cycling and pedestrian community is highly committed to seeing this bill passed this year.
Why? Because there were 10,793 Bike/Pedestrian Injuries & Fatalities in Connecticut from 2006-2012. Federal and state data report that 10,793 pedestrians and cyclists were injured or killed in Connecticut from 2006 through 2012. Cyclists and pedestrians are vulnerable because they are not protected by a 2500-pound steel motor vehicle. It's time to enact a law that raises awareness for all road users and holds reckless drivers accountable for their behavior.
Adopting SB 336 Will Make for a Safer, More Bike-Friendly, More Livable
Connecticut. Being more bike-friendly is good for our environment, good for our health, and good for our pocketbooks. It's also good for the state's economy. Cycling is good for tourism. It's also a key ingredient in transportation-oriented development, vibrant communities and thriving, resilient commercial districts, and in attracting and retaining younger workers and the creative class who insist on realistic transportation options beyond the car.
Let's make this the year we pass it. This is the fifth year the Vulnerable User bill has come before the legislature. Every year the bill has enjoyed broad bipartisan, bicameral support. The Vulnerable User bill is good public policy. There are 10,793 good reasons--and counting--to make this the year we actually pass it.
SB 336 has the support of 22 different membership organizations. Please see fact sheet for more information.
Thank you for working together for a more bikeable, walkable Connecticut.
Kelly Kennedy, Executive Director
Bike Walk Connecticut
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Bike Walk Connecticut is a statewide, member-supported 501(c)(3) organization that works to make Connecticut a better place to bike and walk.
Visit bikewalkct.org for more information.
Ask Them to Support the VU Bill and Get it Voted On Now!
With the end of the legislative session less than a month away, we've been asked to rally the bike ped community to urge their elected representatives to bring the Vulnerable User bill to a vote. The bill, which Bike Walk CT is heavily advocating for the fifth consecutive year, made it to the Senate Calendar and has just been referred to the Judiciary Committee.
If you want Connecticut to be a better place to bike and walk, it's important that hundreds of you to email or call your legislators to let them know the VU bill, Senate Bill 336, is a step in the right direction, that you support it and they should too, and ask them to urge legislative leaders to bring it to a vote soon. The legislative session ends May 7.
Find out who your state legislators are and how to reach them at http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CGAFindLeg.asp
If you send an email, please copy us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, see:
Good news! The vulnerable user bill that the bike/ped community has been trying to get enacted for the past four years is making headway again in the 2014 legislative session.
Several dozen of you sent email messages to the legislature's Transportation Committee expressing your support for the bill. (Good job--change doesn't happen if we are silent!)
Since then, the Transportation Committee gave it a favorable vote, which means it made it out of committee and can be taken up by the Senate. Four legislators have signed on to co-sponsor it: Senators Beth Bye and Toni Boucher, and Representative David Scribner and Roland Lemar. The bill has also been given a fiscal note ($20,000 in revenue per year), and a plain language analysis.
Now the bill has been added to the Senate Calendar, where it can be called for a vote any time. Stay tuned for more updates.
For more information, see:
Thanks to all of you from the Bike Walk Connecticut community who have spoken up so far to get the Vulnerable User bill passed! Public comments for SB 336 are posted on the legislature's website at http://1.usa.gov/1ou09VT. Here's what's posted so far:
03/05/2014 Allen Horila
03/05/2014 Antonio Riera, MD., Assistant Professor, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine
03/05/2014 Connecticut Coordinator, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
03/05/2014 Dario Del Puppa
03/05/2014 David Dove
03/05/2014 David Eder
03/05/2014 Debbie Lundgren
03/05/2014 Deborah Thibodeau
03/05/2014 Dr. Mary Murphy, Dmin
03/05/2014 Frederick J. Mastele, President, Connecticut Horse Council
03/05/2014 Henry N. Talmage, Executive Director, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association
03/05/2014 Holly Parker, Director, Sustainable Transportation Systems
03/05/2014 Howard Pfrommer
03/05/2014 Jason Williams
03/05/2014 Jim Adams
03/05/2014 Jim Redeker, Commissioner, CT Department of Transportation
03/05/2014 Joann Potrzeba
03/05/2014 Joseph D. Anastasio
03/05/2014 Karen Burnaska, Coordinator, Transit for Connecticut
03/05/2014 Karen Santucci, MD
03/05/2014 Kelly Kennedy, Executive Direstor, Bike Walk Connecticut
03/05/2014 Kenneth S. Sek
03/05/2014 Kirsten Bechtel MD., Section of Pediatric Emergancy Medicine, Department of Pediatrics-Yale School of medicine
03/05/2014 Mary Ellen Thibodeau
03/05/2014 Matthew Asensio
03/05/2014 Michael Berghuis
03/05/2014 Nancy Decrisantis
03/05/2014 Nora Duncan, State Director, AARP
03/05/2014 Phil Barlow
03/05/2014 Rick Thibodeau
03/05/2014 Rob O'Connor
03/05/2014 Robert Dickinson
03/05/2014 Roland Chirico
03/05/2014 Scott & Deborah Livingston
03/05/2014 Scott Gamester
03/05/2014 Sean Doyle, Program Associate, Connecticut Public Interest Research Group
03/05/2014 Thomas E. Jannke
03/05/2014 Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Hartford, Conn. (March 5, 2014) - For the fifth consecutive year, the Connecticut General Assembly is considering a bill to help hold accountable careless drivers who injure or kill pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorized “vulnerable users” of the state’s roads.
Bike Walk Connecticut, the advocacy organization working to make Connecticut a better place to bike and walk, supported the bill again this year in testimony before the legislature’s Transportation Committee on March 5.
The bill, SB 336, would allow reckless drivers to be fined up to $1000 when they cause the death of or injury to a pedestrian, cyclist or other “vulnerable user” who uses reasonable care on the road.
From 2006 to 2012, a total of 10,793 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed or injured while using Connecticut roads, according to federal and state crash data registries.
A majority of vulnerable user accidents occur along “arterial” roadways—streets that are designed for speeding traffic with little or no provision for people on foot, on bicycles or in wheelchairs. Excessive speed, distracted driving, and occasional outright driver hostility too often play a role in these tragedies.
Study after study reveals that more people would make more trips by bike or on foot and drive less if they felt safer in traffic. Passing the Vulnerable User bill, and then enforcing it, will raise awareness across the board about the need to be alert for the various users of our public roads.
Vulnerable User legislation is good public policy. Making Connecticut a better place to bike and walk will reduce traffic congestion; create more vibrant town centers; save money; and give us cleaner air and a healthier population.
In the last two years, the Vulnerable User bill has had broad legislative support and passed the Senate unanimously, but it was not brought to a vote in the House in either year. Bike Walk Connecticut and its members urge readers to ask their legislators to pass the Vulnerable User bill, SB 336, early this legislative session and get the bill across the finish line this year.
Sources: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/; http://www.ctcrash.uconn.edu/; http://www.tstc.org/reports/danger12/; http://t4america.org/tag/dangerous-by-design
# # #Bike Walk Connecticut (bikewalkct.org) is a member supported, not-for-profit organization that works to make Connecticut a better place to bike and walk.
Bike Walk Connecticut
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