OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 290

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PENALTY FOR TAILGATING AND CONOR'S LAW REGARDING PROTECTIVE HEADGEAR WHILE SKATEBOARDING, ROLLER SKATING AND IN-LINE SKATING.

SUMMARY

Existing law (1) generally prohibits a person operating a motor vehicle from following another vehicle more closely than is reasonable or in a way that obstructs or impedes traffic and (2) subjects violators to an infraction (see BACKGROUND). Under this bill, if driving in this manner results in a motor vehicle accident, violators are instead subject to a fine ranging from $100 to $200.

Under current law, children under age 16 who ride a bicycle must wear protective headgear that meets the minimum specifications established by the American National Standards Institute or the Snell Memorial Foundation and the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) may establish a public awareness campaign to educate and promote the use of protective headgear when bicycling.

The bill (1) expands the types of activities during which children under age 16 must wear such protective headgear to include skateboarding, non-motorized scootering, roller skating, and in-line skating, (2) requires that protective headgear is properly fitted and fastened, and (3) broadens the purposes for which DCP may spread awareness to include the use of protective headgear during these activities. 

By law, failure to wear a helmet is not considered a violation or an offense and cannot be considered contributory negligence by a parent or a child or be admissible in any civil action.

The bill also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

BACKGROUND

Infractions

Infractions are punishable by fines, usually set by Superior Court judges, of between $35 and $90, plus a $20 or $35 surcharge and an additional fee based on the amount of the fine. There may be other added charges depending upon the type of infraction. For example, certain motor vehicle infractions trigger a Transportation Fund surcharge of 50% of the fine. With the various additional charges, the total amount due can be over $300 but often is less than $100. An infraction is not a crime, and violators can pay the fine by mail without making a court appearance.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Transportation Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

36

Nay

0

(03/23/2018)