Several new laws will go into effect in Connecticut on Friday. This is a glimpse at some of them.
Seat Belt Requirement
One new law will require anyone inside a vehicle to wear a seat belt. The current law requires drivers and front-seat passengers as well as all rear-seat passengers between 4 and 16 years old to wear a seat belt. Anyone older has not been required to wear a seatbelt while riding in the back seat.
The law prohibits police from stopping a driver just for a backseat passenger who is not wearing a seat belt, but a ticket can be issued if a passenger in the back seat is not wearing a seat belt and the driver is pulled over for any other offense.
New Pedestrian Safety Law
As of Oct. 1, drivers will be required to yield to pedestrians who are in the crosswalk or indicate that they are going to cross the street.
Pedestrians will now be allowed to let drivers know with a signal of the hand that they want to cross the street and drivers must also yield to pedestrians if they move into the crosswalk at all.
The bill says a pedestrian is "crossing the roadway within such crosswalk” when he or she is within any portion of the crosswalk, steps to the curb at the entrance to the crosswalk and indicates his or her intent to cross the roadway by raising his or her hand and arm toward oncoming traffic or indicates his or her intent to cross the roadway by moving any part of his or her body or an extension thereof, including, but not limited to, a wheelchair, cane, walking stick, crutch, bicycle, electric bicycle, stroller, carriage, cart or leashed or harnessed dog, into the crosswalk at the entrance to the crosswalk.
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Inoperable Traffic Signals
If a traffic control signal at an intersection is not working, a driver will be required to stop and proceed as though a stop sign was facing in each direction at the intersection unless a police officer directs the driver to do otherwise.
Ice Cream Truck Safety Law
Tristan's Law will require ice cream truck owners to install flashing lights, caution signs, signal arms and front convex mirrors on trucks by May.
Bottle Fee for Mini Bottles of Alcohol
A five-cent fee will be added for mini bottles of alcohol, or nips, and the money will go to help pay for recycling and litter cleanup.
Breastfeeding in the Workplace
One new law is about breastfeeding in the workplace.
It says any employee may, at her discretion, express breast milk or breastfeed on-site at her workplace during her meal or break period and an employer "shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk in private.
It goes on to say, "provided there is no undue hardship, such room or other location shall (1) be free from intrusion and shielded from the public while such employee expresses breast milk, (2) include or be situated near a refrigerator or employee-provided portable cold storage device in which the employee can store her breast milk, and (3) include access to an electrical outlet."