Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 5250

Public Act No. 13-92

AN ACT CONCERNING THE SAFETY OF WORKERS IN ROADWAY WORK ZONES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 14-212a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) The Superior Court shall impose an additional fee equivalent to one hundred per cent of the fine established or imposed for the violation of the provisions of section 14-213, 14-213b, 14-214, 14-215, 14-216, 14-218a, 14-219, 14-220, 14-221, 14-222, 14-222a, 14-223, 14-224, 14-225, 14-227a, 14-230, 14-230a, 14-231, 14-232, 14-233, 14-235, 14-236, 14-237, 14-238, 14-238a, 14-239, 14-240, 14-240a, 14-241, 14-242, 14-243, 14-244, 14-245, 14-246a, 14-247, 14-247a, 14-248a, 14-249, 14-250, 14-250a, 14-257, 14-261, 14-266, 14-271, 14-273, 14-279, 14-281a, subsection (e) or (g) of section 14-283, section 14-289a, [or] 14-289b or 14-296aa for any such violation committed (1) while construction work is ongoing within a highway construction zone designated in a conspicuous manner by the Department of Transportation, (2) while construction work is ongoing within a municipal road construction zone designated in a conspicuous manner by such municipality, (3) while utility work is ongoing within a utility work zone designated in a conspicuous manner by a public service company, as defined in section 16-1, or by a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, or (4) while activities are ongoing in a traffic incident management zone. Fifty per cent of each such additional fee collected shall be deposited in the work zone safety account within the Special Transportation Fund established pursuant to section 6 of this act and used by the department for highway traffic enforcement, including, but not limited to, the expansion of the "Operation Big Orange" program, to protect the safety of workers in highway work zones, as defined in section 14-212d.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 14-111g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) For the purposes of this subsection, "moving violation" means any violation of subsection (c) of section 14-36 or section 14-36g, 14-212d, 14-218a, 14-219, 14-222, 14-223, 14-230 to 14-249, inclusive, 14-279, 14-283, 14-289b, 14-296aa, 14-299, 14-300, 14-301, 14-302 or 14-303, and "suspension violation" means a violation of section 14-222a or 14-224, subsection (a) of section 14-227a, or section 53a-56b, 53a-57 or 53a-60d. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may require any motor vehicle operator who is twenty-four years of age or less, who has been convicted of a moving violation or a suspension violation, or both, committed on two or more occasions to attend a motor vehicle operator's retraining program. The commissioner may require any motor vehicle operator over twenty-four years of age, who has been convicted of a moving violation or a suspension violation or a combination of said violations, committed on three or more occasions to attend a motor vehicle operator's retraining program. The commissioner shall require any motor vehicle operator convicted of traveling more than seventy-five miles per hour or any person operating a commercial motor vehicle convicted of traveling more than sixty-five miles per hour in a highway work zone, as defined in section 14-212d, to attend a motor vehicle operator's retraining program. The commissioner shall notify such operator, in writing, of such requirement. A fee of not more than sixty dollars shall be charged for the retraining program. The commissioner, after notice and opportunity for hearing, may suspend the motor vehicle operator's license of any such operator who fails to attend or successfully complete the program until the operator successfully completes the program. The hearing shall be limited to any claim of impossibility of the operator to attend the retraining program, or to a determination of mistake or misidentification.

Sec. 3. Subsection (e) of section 14-36 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(e) (1) No motor vehicle operator's license shall be issued until (A) the applicant signs and files with the commissioner an application under oath, or made subject to penalties for false statement in accordance with section 53a-157b, and (B) the commissioner is satisfied that the applicant is sixteen years of age or older and is a suitable person to receive the license. (2) An applicant for a new motor vehicle operator's license shall, in the discretion of the commissioner, file, with the application, a copy of such applicant's birth certificate or other prima facie evidence of date of birth and evidence of identity. (3) Before granting a license to any applicant who has not previously held a Connecticut motor vehicle operator's license, or who has not operated a motor vehicle during the preceding two years, the commissioner shall require the applicant to demonstrate personally to the commissioner, a deputy or a motor vehicle inspector or an agent of the commissioner, in such manner as the commissioner directs, that the applicant is a proper person to operate motor vehicles of the class for which such applicant has applied, has sufficient knowledge of the mechanism of the motor vehicles to ensure their safe operation by him or her and has satisfactory knowledge of the laws concerning motor vehicles and the rules of the road. The knowledge test of an applicant for a class D motor vehicle operator's license may be administered in such form as the commissioner deems appropriate, including audio, electronic or written testing. Such knowledge test shall be administered in English, Spanish or any language spoken at home by at least one per cent of the state's population, according to statistics prepared by the United States Census Bureau, based on the most recent decennial census. Each such knowledge test shall include a question concerning highway work zone safety and the responsibilities of an operator of a motor vehicle under section 14-212d. If any such applicant has held a license from a state, territory or possession of the United States where a similar examination is required, or if any such applicant is a person honorably separated from the United States armed forces who applies within two years following the separation and who, prior to the separation, held a military operator's license for motor vehicles of the same class as that for which such applicant has applied, the commissioner may waive part or all of the examination. When the commissioner is satisfied as to the ability and competency of any applicant, the commissioner may issue to such applicant a license, either unlimited or containing such limitations as the commissioner deems advisable, and specifying the class of motor vehicles which the licensee is eligible to operate. (4) If any applicant or operator license holder has any health problem which might affect such person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, the commissioner may require the applicant or license holder to demonstrate personally or otherwise establish that, notwithstanding such problem, such applicant or license holder is a proper person to operate a motor vehicle, and the commissioner may further require a certificate of such applicant's condition, signed by a medical authority designated by the commissioner, which certificate shall in all cases be treated as confidential by the commissioner. A license, containing such limitation as the commissioner deems advisable, may be issued or renewed in any case, but nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the commissioner from refusing a license, either limited or unlimited, to any person or suspending a license of a person whom the commissioner determines to be incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle. Consistent with budgetary allotments, each motor vehicle operator's license issued to or renewed by a deaf or hearing impaired person shall, upon the request of such person, indicate such impairment. Such person shall submit a certificate stating such impairment, in such form as the commissioner may require and signed by a licensed health care practitioner. (5) The issuance of a motor vehicle operator's license to any applicant who is the holder of a license issued by another state shall be subject to the provisions of sections 14-111c and 14-111k.

Sec. 4. Section 14-36f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, governing the establishment, conduct and scope of driver education programs in secondary schools of this state, subject to the requirements of section 14-36e. Such regulations shall (1) permit any local or regional board of education or private secondary school to contract with a licensed drivers' school approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles for the behind-the-wheel instruction of such driver education program and instruction therein may be given by such school's driving instructors who are licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, and (2) require that the classroom instruction of any such driver education program shall include a discussion concerning highway work zone safety and the responsibilities of an operator of a motor vehicle under section 14-212d.

Sec. 5. Section 14-78 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, for (1) the conduct of drivers' schools, including, but not limited to, requirements as to the inspection of the vehicles used by the drivers' schools in the conduct of their business, instructional standards and procedures, including instruction of not less than fifteen minutes concerning the responsibilities of an operator of a motor vehicle under subsection (b) of section 14-223 and the penalty for a violation of the provisions of said subsection (b), instruction concerning highway work zone safety and the responsibilities of an operator of a motor vehicle under section 14-212d, the posting of rates charged for instruction, and the general form in which records shall be kept concerning persons under instruction and those who have completed their course of instruction, and (2) the establishment of requirements for a person to receive a license as an instructor in accordance with section 14-73. On and after October 1, 2010, the commissioner shall not issue a license that is limited to classroom instruction. Any person who was issued such limited license prior to October 1, 2010, may maintain and renew such license.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013) There is established an account to be known as the "work zone safety account" which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the Special Transportation Fund. The account shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account. Moneys in the account shall be expended by the Department of Transportation for the purposes of highway traffic enforcement to protect the safety of workers in highway work zones, as defined in section 14-212d of the general statutes.

Sec. 7. (Effective from passage) The Commissioner of Transportation shall study the implementation of a pilot program concerning the use of alternative colored lights in highway work zones. Such study shall include an analysis of the use of alternative colored lights in highway work zones in other states, the success of the use of such lights, safety concerns concerning such lights and any federal or state statutory or regulatory provisions concerning the use of such lights that could affect the implementation of such pilot program. Not later than February 1, 2014, the commissioner shall submit a report of the findings of such study and recommendations, if any, concerning the implementation of such pilot program, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation.

Sec. 8. Section 14-137a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, setting forth the number of points chargeable against the owner of an operator's license for conviction of any violation of the motor vehicle laws deemed appropriate by the commissioner for the assessment of such points. Such regulations shall provide specific information as to the number of points assessed for the conviction of each specified violation, the total number of points which, in a period of time specified by the commissioner, shall require a hearing before the commissioner or permit automatic suspension without prior hearing, and the period of time during which any such suspension shall extend. Such regulations shall provide that (1) not less than two points shall be assessed for conviction of a violation of subsection (d) of section 14-100a, (2) not more than one point shall be assessed for conviction of a violation of section 14-219, (3) not more than two points shall be assessed for conviction of a violation of section 14-212d, and [(3)] (4) no points shall be assessed for an infraction or any violation specified in subsection (b) of section 51-164n for which the person sends payment of the fine and any additional fees or costs established for such infraction or violation to the Centralized Infractions Bureau in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 51-164n. If such regulations provide for participation in a driver improvement course or system for the owner of an operator's license, the commissioner may charge a fee of fifty dollars for registration for such course or system.

Approved June 6, 2013