Sen. Hwang: “Vision Zero” CT Road Safety Legislation Passes Senate, Heads to Gov’s Desk

June 7, 2023

For Immediate Release

Sen. Hwang Applauds Final Legislative Passage
of Bipartisan “Vision Zero” Bill
to “Help Make Connecticut Roads Safer and Prevent Tragedies”

Sen. Tony Hwang, ranking Senator on the Connecticut General Assembly’s Transportation Committee, today applauded the Senate’s passage of HB 5917 Vision Zero’ comprehensive road safety improvement bill. The bill now heads to Governor Lamont for his signature.

“This legislation will help make Connecticut roads safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, motorists and passengers,” Sen. Hwang said.  “Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and injuries. This is about preventing avoidable tragedies. The bill seeks to raise awareness and improve education on dangerous driving in our communities in order to prevent horrifying accidents and senseless loss of life.”

The Vision Zero bill would:

  • require a public awareness campaign on drugged driving with an emphasis on opioids and cannabis
  • allow prosecutorial officials to require people who contest infractions and certain violations to attend an approved driving safety course as a condition for resolving the ticket before a hearing
  • require the Department of Transportation to award schools that teach students grades 6-12 about safe driving habits and the mission of Vision Zero
  • provide municipalities with the permissive option of using speed and red light cameras in high-risk areas like school and pedestrian safety zones. The policy is optional and can only be implemented with the approval of local governmental entities and with strict adherence to safeguards respecting privacy and security.

“This bill is the product of an interagency task force which thoroughly reviewed best practices of travel safety,” Sen. Hwang added.  “The panel reviewed all aspects of travel with a focus on successful policies which have been adopted in Europe. It sought to create a comprehensive ecosystem of awareness and methodology as to how we travel safely. I commend the Vision Zero task force members for their input, research and analysis. Bipartisan leadership on the Transportation Committee collected their recommendations and further refined them, and I strongly believe this legislation will reduce the incidence of traffic-related fatalities and save lives.”

Sen. Hwang recently voted for and co-introduced legislation which will eventually install wrong-way detection systems at over 120 highway exit ramps that are deemed “high risk” by state transportation officials who have studied nearly 700 ramps statewide.

“We extend our condolences to so many Connecticut families that have suffered an irreplaceable loss due to traffic accidents,” Sen. Hwang said.  “And that loss is deepened at every gathering and holiday events because these are preventable tragedies.  As policymakers, we can help make our roads safer for everyone. We do not want to mourn another tragic loss of life.  A life lost is one too many.”

Sen. Hwang said he would continue to focus on all types of road safety improvement measures, such as driving impairment, distracted driving and cannabis. On the web:

*Sen. Hwang represents Bethel, Easton, Fairfield, Southport, Newtown and Sandy Hook. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) honored Sen. Hwang with its “2016 Legislator of the Year” award for his work in the area of public safety.

Attached photo:   Sen. Tony Hwang joined Gov. Ned Lamont, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, and law enforcement and transportation officials in Southington on Mar. 10 to announce the state’s wrong-way driving awareness campaign. Bipartisan “Vision Zero” legislation supported by Sen. Hwang has passed in the Senate and awaits the governor’s signature.

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