Speed limits now can be enforced by cameras in highway work zones. A bill approved by the Senate would allow municipalities to install red light cameras in certain areas. MARK PAZNIOKAS / CTMIRROR.ORG

Original reporting by Mark Pazniokas. Compiled by Madeline Papcun.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of CT Mirror’s Spanish-language news coverage developed in partnership with Identidad Latina Multimedia.

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According to DOT statistics, 2022 was the deadliest year on Connecticut roadways in decades. An estimated 231 drivers and passengers died in motor vehicle accidents, and another 75 people who were walking or biking were also killed in collisions.

And this January, state Representative Quentin “Q” Williams was killed in a collision with a wrong-way driver as Williams drove home from the governor’s inaugural ball.

In response to the rise in traffic-related deaths on Connecticut roadways, lawmakers have approved multiple efforts designed to improve traffic safety.

Here’s what to know.

Efforts are underway to expand wrong-way driving countermeasures on CT highways.

Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill requiring the Department of Transportation to build on efforts to identify high-risk exit ramps and provide detection and warning systems for wrong-way drivers.

The bill requires detection and warning systems on at least 120 ramps, plus rumble strips causing a car to shudder when going the wrong direction, and a public awareness campaign.

The DOT has assessed 700 highway exit ramps, considering risk factors such as previous accidents, close proximity of multiple off-ramps, poor lighting and the presence of bars and restaurants serving alcohol.

The result is a list of 236 locations identified as high risk for wrong way driving. Sixteen were chosen for a pilot program that will provide 360-degree cameras that will detect wrong-way vehicles and activate flashing warning signs. Eventually, the warning systems will alert the state police in real time.

Connecticut municipalities can use automated cameras to enforce speed limit and red light violations.

According to House Bill 5917, which was signed into law by Lamont this year, the speed limit and red light cameras would be limited to school zones, defined pedestrian safety zones and other locations chosen by local officials and approved by the Office of State Traffic Administration.

Automated enforcement zones must be clearly marked, and speeders would have to be going at least 10 miles per hour over the limit to get an automated ticket.

Fines would be capped at $50 for a first offense and $75 for a second offense regardless of a violator’s recorded speed. The revenue would go to municipalities and must be used for traffic-related expenses.

Violations would be handled more like a parking ticket than an infraction issued by a police officer. No points would be assessed to a driver’s license.

Connecticut has been experimenting with speed cameras in highway work zones.

The unblinking eye of cameras have been enforcing the speed limits at highway work zones in Connecticut in a tightly constrained pilot program that began on April 10.

Transportation officials hope the program will become a permanent check on reckless drivers.

However, the General Assembly placed tight limits on the DOT: Only three camera-enforcement vehicles can be used at one time, each limited to a work site posted with signage warning motorists of automated speed enforcement.

The cameras cannot issue a ticket unless someone is 15 miles per hour over the limit.

Garrett Eucalitto, the DOT commissioner, said the agency will compare speeds at work sites before and after the cameras are deployed to measure their effectiveness. He must report results to the legislature at year’s end.

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