STATE OF CONNECTICUT
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2008
Governor M. Jodi Rell announced today she has signed into law a bill that creates stiff penalties for drivers who endanger highway workers.
The governor signed Public Act 08-114, An Act Concerning Highway Work Zone Safety, which establishes the offenses of “endangerment of a highway worker” and “aggravated endangerment of a highway worker.”
“This law will help protect workers who face significant hazards from reckless drivers,” Governor Rell said. “We have seen too many tragic accidents on our highways involving workers. These heightened penalties will send a message that Connecticut does not tolerate reckless behavior in designated highway work zones.”
Under the new law, a person who is driving in a work zone commits the offense “endangerment of a highway worker” when they:
- Exceed the posted speed limit by 15 miles per hour or more
- Fail to obey a traffic control device
- Drive through or around the zone in any lane not clearly designated for traffic
- Physically assault, attempt to assault or threaten to assault a highway worker with a motor vehicle or other instrument
A person commits the offense of “aggravated endangerment of a highway worker” when convicted of any of the above acts in a designated work zone and a worker is seriously injured.
Drivers convicted of endangerment of a highway worker are subject to a fine of up to $1,000. A conviction of aggravated endangerment of a highway worker will result in a fine of up to $5,000 for injuring a worker and $10,000 for the death of a worker, in addition to any other penalty authorized by law.
The legislation also creates a Highway Work Zone Safety Advisory Council, which will make ongoing recommendations to improve safety for workers, public safety officers and motor vehicle operators in a highway work zone.