Police: Please Walk, Jog and Ride Safely — Here Are the Rules, Here’s How to Follow Them

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With more Darien residents walking, jogging, cycling, driving and otherwise using the town streets and sidewalks during the COVID-19 crisis, town police have become more concerned about people staying safe and avoiding accidents.

After all: A hospital is definitely one place you’d rather not be right now, if you can avoid it.

So the Police Department on Monday issued some information on what the rules of the road are.

“If everyone follows these basic and reasonable rules, roadways users can safely co-exist,” the announcement said. “Please, take an extra minute or two and consider giving “the other guy” an additional margin of safety and distance.”

Here’s the full text of the announcement:

A Message from the Darien Police Department on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Rights and Responsibilities  

With the warmer weather upon us, the Darien Police Department wishes to offer a timely reminder to all motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we have certainly observed a marked increase in pedestrian activity around town.

As always, the safety of our residents and guests is always our paramount concern.  Motor vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle related statutes and regulations are enacted to provide all roadway users with very clear rights and responsibilities.

If everyone follows these basic and reasonable rules, roadways users can safely co-exist. Please, take an extra minute or two and consider giving “the other guy” an additional margin of safety and distance.  The Darien Police Department, your Darien Police Department, clearly believes we will all be better for it.

Pedestrian responsibilities under the CT General Statutes CGS 14-300b and 14-300c:

—Pedestrians MUST utilize a sidewalk if one is provided.

—All pedestrians MUST walk AGAINST traffic and as close as practicable to the edge of the road if a sidewalk is not present. One pedestrian on the edge of the road and another walking with them who is six feet into the roadway is simply not lawful, safe, or reasonable. All pedestrians must be on the sidewalk if one is provided or as close to the edge of the road as practical if no sidewalk is present.

—Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than a crosswalk (marked or unmarked) SHALL yield the right of way to each vehicle upon such roadway.

—No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by a pedestrian-control signal or a police officer.

—No pedestrian shall cross a roadway between adjacent intersections at which traffic or pedestrian control signals are in operation except within a marked crosswalk.

—No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb, sidewalk, crosswalk or other place of safety adjacent to or upon a roadway and walk or run into the path of a vehicle.

—No pedestrian who is under the influence of alcohol or any drug to a degree that renders themselves to be a hazard shall walk or stand in any part of a roadway.

—All Pedestrians MUST yield to any authorized emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights and auditory warning.

Bicyclist responsibilities under the CT General Statutes CGS 14-286a, 14-286b, 14-286c

 —Every person riding a bicycle upon the traveled portion of a highway (roadway) shall be granted all the rights and SHALL be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of any vehicle. This would include not impeding other traffic.

—Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as is “safe” as judged by such person, except while overtaking or passing another vehicle heading in the same direction, preparing for a left turn into a private road or driveway, (when) reasonably necessary to avoid to avoid conditions (fixed/moving objects, parked/moving vehicles, other bicycles, pedestrians, animals surface hazards, etc.).

—Persons SHALL NOT ride bicycles more than two abreast. Persons riding two abreast SHALL NOT impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, and, on a lined roadway, SHALL ride within a single lane.

Motor Vehicle operator responsibilities under CT General Statutes CGS 14-300 and 14-300d.

—Each operator of a vehicle SHALL exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or person propelling a human powered vehicle and SHALL give a reasonable warning by sounding a horn or other lawful noise emitting device to avoid a Collison.

—Each operator of a vehicle SHALL yield to all pedestrians who are crossing a highway (roadway) at an intersection on either a “walk” signal or a standard green traffic signal. In these cases, the pedestrian has the clearly defined right of way and all vehicle operators MUST yield.

—Motorists must give all bicyclists at LEAST three feet of lateral space when passing in the same direction.

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