HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – New laws went into effect on Friday, Oct. 1.
A new pedestrian law expands the circumstances where drivers must yield the right-of-way to people at marked and unmarked crosswalks that are not controlled by traffic signals or police officers.
Previously, the law said a driver must yield to a pedestrian, slowing or stopping as necessary, if the pedestrian has stepped off the curb or into a crosswalk.
Under the new law:
…a driver must “slow or stop as necessary if the pedestrian (1) is within any portion of the crosswalk; (2) steps to the curb at a crosswalk’s entrance and indicates intent to cross by raising a hand or arm to oncoming traffic; or (3) indicates intent to cross by moving any body part or extension of a body part into the crosswalk entrance, including a wheelchair, cane, walking stick, crutch, bicycle, electric bicycle, stroller, carriage, cart, or leashed or harnessed dog.
Just like the previous law, drivers who do not yield at a crosswalk when required are subject to a $500 fine.
Read the full bill here.
Seat belt mandate
Rear seat belts are required for adult passengers.
If pulled over, both the passenger and the driver would each get a $50 ticket.
Connecticut was among the first states to enact a front seatbelt law back in the mid-1980s, but had lagged behind the rest of the nation with the back seat.
Most states require all backseat passengers to buckle up.
While recreational marijuana was legalized back in July, as of Oct. 1, medical marijuana patients could start growing plants at home.
Anyone with a medical card can grow their own plants, up to three mature and three immature plants at one time.
Read the full bill here.
Smoking or vaping is no longer allowed within 25 feet of a door, window or vent on busy streets. It’s part of Connecticut’s new Clean Air Act, which was updated for the first time in 20 years.
Starting Oct. 1, all workplaces must be completely smoke- and vape-free. Large employers are no longer allowed to designate smoking areas.
Smoking and vaping of any kind is also banned at all Connecticut hotels, motels, correctional facilities and halfway houses.
Mini liquor bottle tax
A new tax on miniature liquor bottles, more commonly known as “nips,” went into effect.
The small containers will have a $0.05 surcharge. It’s not a bottle deposit.
Cities and towns will use the money to reduce waste and litter.
Disclosing salary ranges
This law requires employers to disclose salary ranges for job openings.
“It means an added complication to the whole relationship between employer and employee,” said David Lewis, CEO of Operations Inc.
Two new laws change the hiring process. One prevents employers from asking applicants their date of birth. The bigger change, however, is the salary range requirement. This is meant to address pay disparities, but employers said it also makes it harder to set salaries, since both applicants and current employees can see the information.
“Most people hear the high number, which is why we don’t, and haven’t historically, put salary ranges in job postings,” Lewis said.
Jennifer’s Law, named after missing mother Jennifer Farber Dulos of New Canaan, expands the definition of domestic violence to include nonviolent coercive control.
“Coercive control was happening long before we passed this law,” said Megan Scanlon, executive director for the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
A mother of five children, Dulos was last seen in May of 2019. Before her disappearance, she was embattled in a bitter divorce with her husband, Fotis Dulos, that included allegations of financial manipulation and verbal abuse.
Scanlon said coercive control is when “the abuser establishes patterns of financial control, isolation, intimidation.”
Take a look at other laws that went into effect on Oct. 1 by clicking here.