Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety
Connecticut Bicycle Laws
- Bicyclists Status: Traffic Laws apply to people riding bicycles. Bicyclists riding on a roadway are granted all of the rights and are subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle. (Connecticut General Statute (C.G.S.) 14-286a)
- Lane Positioning: When riding on roadways, bicyclists are to ride as near the right side of the roadway as is safe, as judged by the bicyclist (C.G.S. 14-286b), except:
- When passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction
- When preparing for a left turn
- When necessary to avoid hazardous conditions (fixed objects, pedestrians, etc.)
- When the lane is too narrow for a bicycle and motor vehicle to travel safely side by side within such lane
- Approaching an intersection with a right turn only lane, a bicyclist proceeding straight may ride on the left-hand side of such lane
- When riding on a one way street, the bicyclist may ride as near to the left side of the roadway as judged safe by the bicyclist
- Riding two abreast: This is permitted as long as it does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. Riding more than two abreast is prohibited except on paths or roadway for the exclusive use of bicycles. (C.G.S. 14-286b)
- Hand Signals: Bicyclists are required to give the same turn signals as motorists. Signals need not be given continuously. (C.G.S. 14-286)
- Lights and other equipment on Bicycles: Bicyclists must use lights during the times and conditions that motor vehicle operators must use lights. When lighting is required, a front lamp, with a white light visible from at least 500 feet, and a rear reflector and side reflectors on both sides, visible from at least 600 feet, are required. A bicycle must have a brake that enables an operator to stop within 25 feet on dry, level, clean pavement from 10 miles per hour. (C.G.S. 14-288)
- Two or More on a Bicycle: Bicycles shall not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped. (C.G.S. 14-286b)
- Helmet: Those 15 years of age and under must wear a bike helmet. (C.G.S. 14-286d)
- Vehicles Passing Bicycles: Safe passing distance means not less than 3 feet when the driver of a vehicle overtakes and passes a bicycle. (C.G.S. 14-232) Drivers should take to avoid turning right and impeding the travel of the bicyclist. A driver may pass a bicycle in a no passing zone if such overtaking and passing can be done safely. (C.G.S. 14-234)
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Be Safe & Be Seen: Make Yourself Visible to Drivers
- Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
- Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Cross the street in a well-lit area at night.
- Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
Be Smart & Alert: Avoid Dangerous Behaviors
- Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
- Don't assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
- Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals. Look before you cross the road.
- Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
Be Careful at Crossings
- Look before you step; cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
- Obey traffic signals such as Walk/Don't Walk signs.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
- Watch for turning vehicles. Make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
- Look across all lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Treat each lane of a multiple lane road as its own roadway. Even if one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
- Continuously look left, right, and left before crossing each lane.
- Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
Safety Tips While Walking / Jogging
- Tell someone where you are going, share your route and estimated time frame.
- Walk/jog with a partner.
- Walk/jog with some form of identification.
- Carry a cell phone with you.
- Wear highly visible, bright colored and reflective clothing.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Assume you are invisible other vehicles and bicyclist; make eye contact when possible at intersections.
- Walk/jog on sidewalks when available.
- Walk/jog facing traffic.
- Be cautious for vehicle and bicycle traffic around crests of hills, corners and where the glare from the sun may impact visibility.
- Avoid using earbuds so you can listen to activity around you.
- Plan your routes to minimize crossing streets, busy intersections, or natural hazards.
- Notify the police if you see anything suspicious.