OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6454 (as amended by House “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING FIRE STATION WORK ZONES.

SUMMARY:

This bill doubles the basic fines for speeding or committing certain other traffic violations in a conspicuously designated fire station work zone in which a uniformed firefighter is directing traffic. It allows a municipality to designate fire station work zones by posting a sign at the (1) beginning of the zone that reads: “FIRE STATION WORK AHEAD FINES DOUBLED” and (2) end of the zone that reads: “END FIRE STATION WORK.”

As is currently the case for other designated zones, neither the state nor a municipality or their agents or employees are civilly liable for any personal injury or property damage that results from a municipality's failure to post the sign.

*House Amendment “A” allows municipalities, rather than requires the Department of Transportation (DOT), to designate fire station work zones.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013

ENHANCED PENALTIES IN FIRE STATION WORK ZONES

By law, when certain traffic violations occur in a traffic incident management zone or in a specifically marked DOT or municipal construction zone or utility work zone, the court must impose an additional fee equal to 100% of the fine established for the violation. By law, there are charges for these offenses in addition to the basic fines. For the enhanced penalty to apply, the DOT, municipality, or public utility or water company, as applicable, must conspicuously post a sign at the beginning of the construction or work zone that says “ROAD WORK AHEAD FINES DOUBLED” and a sign at the end of the zone saying “END ROAD WORK.”

This bill extends these enhanced penalties to the same violations when they occur in a zone designated as a fire station work zone.

BACKGROUND

Violations Subject to the Additional Fines

Table 1 shows examples of violations subject to additional fines.

Table 1: Examples of Motor Vehicle Violations Subject to Enhanced Fines

Law Violation

Statute (CGS )

Travelling too fast for conditions

14-218a

Speeding

14-219(b)

Improper passing, safe distance, cutting in

14-232(a)(1)

Increasing speed while being passed

14-232(a)(2)

Disobeying officer's signal

14-223a

Driving to endanger

14-218a

Tailgating with intent to intimidate by commercial vehicle

14-240

Failure to drive in proper lane

14-236

Related bill

HB 5250, which passed the House:

1. doubles the fine for someone who violates the cell phone ban in a highway work zone and requires that half of the additional fee be deposited in a new Special Transportation Fund account for highway safety, including protecting the safety of highway workers;

2. adds violations of the highway work zone to those violations that require drivers to attend the driver retraining program;

3. requires that driver's tests and instruction include questions and instruction on highway work zone safety; and

4. requires the motor vehicles commissioner to add no more than two points to the driver's record of anyone who violates the highway work zone law.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

23

Nay

0

(03/07/2013)

Transportation Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

28

Nay

1

(04/19/2013)

Appropriations Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

42

Nay

8

(04/30/2013)