Sen. Cicarella, Rep. Fishbein Work with Transportation Committee to Expedite Child Safety Bill

March 10, 2021

Bill to increase safety measures on ice cream trucks written in response to fatal incident involving Wallingford child last summer


State Sen. Paul Cicarella (R-34) and State Rep. Craig Fishbein (R-90) yesterday testified at the legislature’s Transportation Committee public hearing in support of S.B. 608, which seeks to increase safety for children when buying ice cream from frozen dessert trucks. The bill has bipartisan support from local lawmakers and was written in response to a fatal incident in Cheshire involving a Wallingford child last summer.

The bill is unofficially referred to as “Tristan’s Law,” in honor of Tristan Barhorst, 10, who was struck and killed by a motor vehicle after buying ice cream from a truck stationed on the opposite side of the roadway in June of 2020. A similar incident in 2019 also left a Hamden child with permanent injuries.

“I’m pleased that the Transportation Committee is looking to fast-track this bill that’s vital to the safety of children in our community as we approach the spring and summer season. My heart breaks for Tristan’s parents, who lost their beloved son. This bill was written with them in mind, and this is common-sense legislation that everyone agrees on. This is not an isolated incident and is something that I’ve seen in my business as an investigator. It blew my mind that there was not existing legislation to protect children like this while other states already have similar laws on the books. I’m asking the Transportation Committee, House and Senate to get this bill across the finish line.”

Tristan’s parents Christi Carrano and Tyler Barhorst of Wallingford also provided moving testimony in support of the bill. The bill seeks to increase a truck’s visibility to other drivers, warn drivers that children may be present and limits the location and conditions for vending. Sen. Cicarella and Rep. Fishbein also are asking for a grace period for existing trucks that will require this additional safety equipment.

“I’m proud to support this important, common sense legislation to keep our roadways safe, protect children and our community, and to hopefully prevent another needless tragedy in the future,” Rep. Fishbein said. “Drivers all know to slow down and stop for a school bus, but most don’t think twice when passing an ice cream truck which will undoubtedly have children near it. Unfortunately, several incidents in recent years have highlighted the need for this legislation. I am truly sorry this bill is necessary, but I am encouraged that my colleagues recognize the seriousness of this public safety issue and are working together to get it passed.”


WATCH: Sen. Cicarella provides testimony on “Tristan’s Law” (S.B. 608) at the Transportation Committee’s public hearing on Mar. 9, 2021