The Connecticut Department of Transportation issued a press release Tuesday (5/9/23) to remind drivers to slow down and pay attention.

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The release was prepared as part of the DOT's recognition of Older Americans Month. According to the release, in 2022 there were 69 pedestrian fatalities in the state and 18 of them were 65 or older.

Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto had this to say“To keep our roadways safe we all need to look out for one another, drive sober, and remain alert.”

The DOT added:

"Throughout the month, the CTDOT Highway Safety Office will continue its public education campaign for older pedestrians, titled “Words to Live By.” The campaign, developed with AARP and Watch for Me CT, helps increase awareness about the need for pedestrian safety, given the increasing rise in crashes and fatal injuries to Connecticut’s older pedestrian population."

They shared the following safety tips for all motorists:

CTDOT offers the following tips for motorists to help reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities:

  • Safety is a shared responsibility. Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
  • Use extra caution when driving in low-visibility conditions such as nighttime or inclement weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop at the designated area away from the crosswalk.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you cannot see.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Follow the speed limit.
  • Follow slower speed limits in school zones and neighborhoods where children are present.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.

Connecticut had a terrible year for pedestrians from an overall perspective. The Nutmeg State accounted for nearly 5% of all pedestrian fatalities in the U.S.

Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Tony Guerrera said “Older drivers and their families should have conversations to ensure they’re exercising safe driving behaviors.”

That is code for make sure your parents and grandparents should be driving at all. The state cannot come out and say that point blank but that is definitely what they mean. I know this is an upsetting topic for older Americans but I think seniors over the age of 70 should be taking a driving test every year. No one wants to hear that, no one wants to be the one to suggest it but it's already dangerous enough out there. While I'm making unpopular statements, I don't think anyone under the age of 18 should have a driver's license either but that is a story for another day.

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Photo Credit: Aurora Photography
Photo Credit: Aurora Photography

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