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School’s Open, Know The Rules Of The Road

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Police & Fire, School News  Comments Off on School’s Open, Know The Rules Of The Road
Aug 312021
 

stop for school bussesThe answer to the most asked question (here at Orange Live) with a new comprehensive illustration.

The most read story on Orange Live all year long is one that was originally published in Feb. 2013, “What Happens If You Don’t Stop For A School Bus With Flashing Lights?”

Watch out, Bus drivers are keeping an eye out and police responding to complaints of drivers who do not comply with the laws regarding stopping for stopped school busses.

In Aug. 2014, the Orange Board Of Education Vice Chairman said, “Coming soon to Orange: if you pass a bus, a camera will take a picture of your vehicle and you will get a summons.”

From the State Website the whole story, including fines:

You want to know the legislative history of the act requiring police, on receipt of a written complaint from a school bus driver, to issue a written warning or summons to a motor vehicle owner for illegally passing a stopped school bus.

For your information, we also have appended a chart showing the disposition of cases in which vehicles failed to stop for a school bus from 2007 through 2011, according to figures provided by the Judicial Branch. We were unable to determine how many of these cases were based on a bus driver’s written report. Representatives of the Chief State’s Attorney’s office and the Judicial Branch said the state does not track those numbers.

BACKGROUND

A motor vehicle cannot pass a stopped school bus displaying flashing red signal lights, but must stop at least 10 feet before or behind such a bus (CGS § 14-279). Under the law, police must issue a written warning or a summons to the owner of a vehicle who illegally passes a school bus “upon a written report from any school bus operator…specifying the license plate number, color and type of any vehicle” the bus driver sees violating the law. The driver’s report must also note the date, approximate time, and location of the violation.

PA 85-71

A provision allowing police to issue a written warning to a vehicle owner on receiving a bus driver’s written report was enacted in 1985 (PA 85-71, originating as HB 5749). The act also allowed anyone over age 18 to submit such a written report.

The Transportation Committee held a hearing on HB 5749 on February 4, 1985. Several people testified in support of the provision, arguing there was insufficient enforcement of the school bus passing law. A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) representative spoke against the bill.

Sharon Ward, school transportation safety director for a school bus contractor, said “the statute must be changed so that local police and state troopers are required to make arrests when drivers give an adequate amount of information…the marker number, the color and make of the car.”

Another witness, Robin Leeds, executive director of the Connecticut School Transportation Association, said the bill “represents an attempt to address the most serious problem in school transportation, the danger in the unloading zones. Not only do all our fatalities occur here, but our most severe injuries as well. Already this winter, we have seen at least five children hit and seriously injured by motorists who did not stop for the flashing red lights of the school bus. In two of those instances, the motorist said to the officer…I didn’t know I was supposed to stop.”

“It is safe to assume,” she continued, “that those motorists had passed a school bus before. If their license numbers had been turned in by a bus driver and accepted by a policeman…who then sent a written warning…they would have known they were supposed to stop before they hit the children.” She said 20 states already had similar laws.

John O’Connell, DMV’s public transportation administrator, opposed the bill, saying the department had “some…concerns regarding the question of constitutionality and an abuse of such a statute about drivers picking up the plate numbers…”

The House of Representatives considered the bill on April 10, 1985, and passed it after amending it by voice vote to allow, rather than require, police to issue a written warning on receipt of a bus driver’s written report (LCO # 5478).

Speaking in support of the amended bill, Representative Wilber said “the feeling of the [transportation] committee was that most people do not pass school buses intentionally, but they do it forgetfully, and if a warning is issued, they probably will not do it again, or not so likely to do it again.”

Representative Frankel opposed the bill, saying its “fatal flaw” was that it was directed at vehicle owners, rather than the person driving the vehicle when the violation occurred. But Representative Ward, arguing for the bill, said school bus drivers “faced…a dilemma. They see a vehicle pass them illegally…They do not know who the operator is, but they clearly can get a marker number.”

“Nothing in this bill prevents a ticket, if you know who was the driver,” Ward said. “It takes the extra step, however, of allowing a warning to the owner of a vehicle when you cannot identify the operator.”

The House passed the amended bill by a 117 to 32 vote.

The Senate debate occurred on April 17, 1985. Senator Giulietti opposed the measure, saying it did not “really have any teeth” because it allowed, rather than required, police to issue a warning. He also objected to “making school bus drivers or any other person over 18…policemen.” Senator Consoli also objected to giving “non-police personnel” the authority to make a complaint in these cases.

Senator Morano, speaking on behalf of the bill, argued that “any tool…to teach people not to go racing by stopped school buses would be good legislation.” Senator DiBella, also speaking on behalf of the bill, said it would allow a policeman “to issue a warning without being on the scene.”

The Senate passed the bill, as amended by the House, by a vote of 30 to 3.

SUBSEQUENT CHANGES TO THE LAW

PA 85-71 was codified in CGS § 14-279. The statute has since been amended several times, as follows (excluding technical changes):

PA 86-155 changed the law by (1) explicitly requiring vehicles to stop for stopped school buses displaying flashing red signal lights on any highway, private road, parking area, or school property; (2) eliminating the ability of “other persons 18 years of age or over” to submit written reports of vehicles failing to stop; and (3) requiring, rather than allowing, a police officer to issue either a written warning or summons on receiving a school bus driver’s written report.

PA 01-192 expressly required emergency vehicles, such as fire department and police vehicles, to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus displaying flashing red signal lights.

PA 11-255 replaced the fine for a first offense of between $100 and $500 with a $450 fine and allowed video evidence of failing to stop for a school bus.

 

(originally published 2016)

 

Full Buck Moon Still Big and Beautiful

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on Full Buck Moon Still Big and Beautiful
Jul 232021
 

full buck moon

Tonight, Friday, July 23, the full moon rises after sunset, look towards the southeast to watch it rise above the horizon. It reaches its prime at 10:37 p.m.

The July full moon is known as any of the following:

• Full Buck Moon – because in July the antlers of male deer (bucks) are in full growth mode. Bucks shed and regrow their antlers each year, producing a larger and more impressive set as the years go by.

• Full Thunder Moon – because thunderstorms are most frequent during this time.

Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

How Do I Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs?

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Mar 312021
 

 hard-boiled-eggsI learned how to make hard-boiled eggs from my mom who had to make enough every year to satisfy her three kids’ creative desires at Easter time,

You need to hard boil the eggs to the perfect texture so they don’t crack while they are boiling and are easy to peel when you are ready to eat them.

My granddaughter loves these!

Let’s get started:

Put your eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan, and cover them with an inch or two of cold water. Starting with cold water and gently bringing the eggs to a boil will help keep them from cracking. Add a tablespoon of vinegar and a half teaspoon of salt to the water. Put the burner on high and bring the eggs to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds.

Turn the heat down to low and return the pan to the burner. Let simmer for one minute.

After a minute, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 12 minutes.

Depending on the number of eggs you’ve made, you can check one egg to see how it’s done. Remove from the pan, run under cold water, and peel if it’s to your liking, rinse the other eggs under cold water, let them sit in the cold water for a while, then remove them and let them dry any way you prefer, on paper towels on a cake rack (whatever). When they are dry and cool you can get to work coloring them.

Store in the refrigerator in a ziplock bag or covered bowl to keep the egg smell from your fridge.

Republican Headquarters Opens In Orange

 Around Town, Home, Latest News  Comments Off on Republican Headquarters Opens In Orange
Oct 132020
 

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-8-41-23-pmThe Orange Republican Headquarters is located at the former Battle Zone, 371 Boston Post Road.
As the November 3 elections get closer, they are always looking for volunteers.  This is also a good opportunity for high school students for service hours.  All are welcome.
For more information call 203-915-6629.

Where Were You When Terrorists Hit Our Shores 19 Years Ago?

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Sep 112020
 

twin-towers-images2Where were you 19 years ago today? The memory of 911 is still etched in my brain. I recall the conversations I had with a co-worker as I gave him blow-by-blow reports of what was happening in America. The newsroom at the newspaper did not have televisions and when I first told him that the South Tower had collapsed he didn’t believe me.

Then I told him that the North Tower was “gone.” By then the bosses had begun watching the horror on the internet and every editor stopped whatever they were working on to find a local angle from his or her town to include in a 911 edition of the papers.

For me, Tuesday was deadline day, so I didn’t have enough time to find Orange, Bethany, or Woodbridge residents with a personal connection to the tragedy.

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

Instead, I wrote a column documenting my day from the time I was awakened by a phone call telling me to “turn on the tv”; to seeing the second plane hit the south tower; to the conversations with my co-worker and his reaction to what I was telling him; and finally the numbness I felt that day.

What I remember most from the 911 attacks is just how kind everyone was for nearly an entire week afterward.

My children and I answered the call when the donation of heavy work gloves, dust filter masks, bottled water, and socks (to help protect the search and rescue and cadaver dogs’ feet).

In 2001, my kids were 14 and 15 years old. They knew what was going on, they witnessed it on TV at school and, I remember they didn’t need a lot of reassurance. They were upset but didn’t dwell on it.

I have not been back to that area of New York since that day.

For all the kids who are now in High School and were too young to remember and for all the children who were born after 2001, here is a timeline of what happened that day 19 years ago:

8:46:26 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 impacts the north side of the North Tower (1 World Trade Center) of the WTC between the 94th and 98th floors. American Airlines Flight 11 was flying at a speed of 490 miles per hour (MPH).

9:02:54 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 175 impacts the south side of the South Tower of the WTC between the 78th and 84th floors at a speed of over 500 MPH. Parts of the plane including an engine leave the building from its north side, to be found on the ground up to six blocks away.

The Pentagon in Washington, DC gets hit by American Airlines Flight 77 at 9:37 a.m.

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

9:59:04 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center suddenly collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris quickly fills lower Manhattan. It is later explained (disinformation) that the collapse was not directly caused by the impact, but the intense heat caused by the fire fueled by the jet’s fuel weakening the steel support beams of the concrete floors. The WTC towers were built to withstand a 707 being flown into them. A 767 carries almost the same amount of fuel as a 707.

The Palisades seismic data recorded a 2.1 magnitude earthquake during the 10-second collapse of the South Tower at 9:59:04 and a 2.3 quake during the 9-second collapse of the North Tower at 10:28:31 a.m.

10:06.05 a.m.: According to seismic data, United Airlines Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, PA, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Here is a breakdown of the victims:

Deaths by Area of Attack Deaths
World Trade Center 2,606
Airlines 246
Pentagon Building 125
Hijackers 19
Total number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks 2,996
Casualties in the World Trade Center and Surrounding Area Deaths
Residents of New York 1,762
Persons in North Tower (Tower 1) 1,402
Persons in South Tower (Tower 2) 614
Residents of New Jersey 674
Employees of Marsh Inc. 355
Firefighters 343
Employees of Aon Corporation 175
Port Authority police officers 37
Police officers 23
Paramedics 2
1 firefighter was killed by a man who jumped off the top floors

Talking To Your Kids About 9/11

My granddaughter is 8 (almost 9 years old) and I asked her last week if she knew what 9/11 was all about.

She said she’d heard about it, but “not really.”

I asked if she wanted to know more, and being an inquisitive child, she, of course, said “yes.”

I had found a documentary that I’d DVR’d a few years ago, that I thought would give her a sense of what happened without upsetting her or scaring her too much. It didn’t show the people jumping from the upper floors, or anyone on fire running through the lobby of Tower One. It didn’t dwell on the heartbroken family members pasting photos of their loved ones up on the bulletin boards near the site. Just the basics.

And as she watched it, I shared some thoughts about what she was seeing. I told her that I knew a Paramedic and a Priest from Bethany who helped the people deal with the terrible things they’d seen and the guilt they felt about surviving on that day when so many others died.

She has an appreciation for the first responders who risked their lives to help save others, and the many who gave their lives during that effort.

She liked that her mommy and uncle were willing to help donate things that the rescuers needed in the days after the attacks. And she understands so much more than most kids her age without having night terrors about what she’d learned. Just the knowledge and appreciation for those who were willing to help.

Last night she said a prayer for the people who died and their family members who are missing them on this day.

Once Again, For Those Who Choose To Accuse… Orange Live’s Political Policy

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Aug 242020
 

Screen shot 2013-06-13 at 2.17.31 PMSince launching Orange Live in May 2012, some residents, and politicians wondered how I would go about covering local, state, and national elections.

The answer is simple — fairly.

I will post information about candidates, issues, and events as they are submitted as long as it is not an attack piece on an opponent.

If there happens to be more information about one party than another, it is simply that one side has a better publicity person than the other.

Note: In a past state election, I got some grief from a reader who believed I was taking sides by running one candidate’s press releases and nothing from another candidate. This was because HER camp sent me press releases and HIS didn’t. I do not go out looking for political commentary.

I will not be endorsing local candidates on Orange Live but I will do profiles of the key candidates. I do not attend political fundraisers, simply because if I can make it to one, but am busy during the other party’s event I will be accused of choosing sides. I will though, accept a well-composed photo from these events and publish them.

If I request a candidate’s profile information or photograph, please send it to me as soon as possible to orangectlive01@gmail.com.

However, I will not run anything that resembles negative campaigning on Orange Live. Some may call that censorship — but I believe that candidates need to run on their own merits, and I plan to allow my readers to learn about the candidates without the mudslinging that will be found on many other news media outlets.

Orange Live readers know that I don’t allow comments on the website, but comments may be posted on our Facebook page. BUT If I notice people attacking or insulting others I will remove the negative comments, so, it’s simple, be kind. We DO have many young people who follow Orange Live and we will not be a party to exposing them to political negativity. Be civil. Praise your own candidate, but do not post anything ugly about their opponent on any Orange Live related pages.

Just as I do not step up to the voting table with you and help you fill in the circles on your ballot, I will let YOU decide who the best candidate is for YOU and your family.

I will go to the polls, take photos of  Democrats, Republicans, and Independent candidates and try to have an equal amount of photographs from both sides (After 20 years of covering Orange, I know that some people actually count images and judge) and finally, I will get the results up online ASAP.

… and that is my political coverage policy.

 

This policy has been in place for 6 years and will never change. 

Fireworks Are Still Illegal and Dangerous: Read on, Orange

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Jun 242020
 

It’s that time of year again, people have already begun lighting up fireworks across the state, as the Fourth of July approaches, fireworks vendors are beginning to sell their wares.

Sparklers are dangerous, they can reach a temperature of 1,800 degrees and burn your hands and/or clothing.

We all look forward to the summer weather and celebrating the opportunity to be outdoors at picnics, barbecues, and other events.  At many of these smaller than usual gatherings, the use of fireworks, both legal and illegal, is on the rise. When used legally and safely by professionals, fireworks can be enjoyed.  Unfortunately, numerous incidents of injuries, fatalities, or accidental fires caused by the private use of fireworks are reported each year across the United States.

Several years ago, the State of Connecticut made it legal for any person sixteen (16) years of age or older to possess, sell, or use any sparkling device.  The use of any type of sparkling device by a person under the age of 16 is illegal.

NO OTHER TYPES OF FIREWORKS ARE LEGAL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC ACT 00-198!  This includes, but is not limited to, devices known as “M-80’s,” “Cherry Bombs,” “Bottle Rockets,” and any device that is explosive or aerial such as ground displays or roman candles.  While the use of sparkling devices is legal in Connecticut, they can be dangerous if not used properly.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office asks that you remember the following safety guidelines.

•   When handling a sparkling device, wear protective goggles and gloves.  Sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit once they are lit and many burns and eye injuries have been reported as a result of improper use.

•    Do not use ANY open flame devices when dry ground conditions are present. The Fire Danger Level is available at their website, www.orangefiremarshal.com or by calling the Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-891-4711.

•   Be aware of your surroundings.  Be sure others are a safe distance away before igniting any sparkling device.

•    DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO HANDLE ANY TYPE OF SPARKLING DEVICE.

•    Always have a source of extinguishment.  A garden hose or fire extinguisher can quickly put out a small fire before it gets out of control, only if it is close by.  Anytime there is a fire or other emergency, do not hesitate to call 911.  A delay in a call can make a tragic difference in the outcome.

The local and state fire officials want everyone to enjoy the summer season.  Please keep these tips in mind to ensure that it is a safe one.  If you would like more information, call the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office  Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 203-891-4711.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Information That You Should Know

 Latest News  Comments Off on Carbon Monoxide Safety Information That You Should Know
Dec 162019
 

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.50.41 PMThe Orange Volunteer Fire Department has been busy recently with carbon monoxide calls around town. Early Monday morning an alarm went off and the family could not be reached by phone, which is a frightening scenario for the dispatcher and first responders who aren’t sure what they will encounter. In this case, the family did make it out of the house after the OVFD arrived.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges the community to be aware of the important facts and safety information regarding Carbon Monoxide.Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a serious threat that people need to get informed about. 

By educating ourselves on the dangers of carbon monoxide, we can significantly reduce the health risk, as well as save lives.  So in response to many of the questions that the Fire Marshal’s Office has received, we have decided to include this article to help you and your families stay safe.

HOW DOES CARBON MONOXIDE HARM YOU?

Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it attaches to the hemoglobin, which is the part of the blood that carries the oxygen to the brain, heart, and other vital organs.  By attaching itself to the hemoglobin, the carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen, thus depriving your body of much needed oxygen.  Large amounts of carbon monoxide can overcome you in minutes without warning, causing you to lose consciousness and suffocate.

WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE?

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is a product of combustion.  The carbon monoxide produced while using fuel-fired equipment is usually not harmful.  Normally, increased carbon monoxide levels in homes are caused by faulty heating equipment, poor maintenance of exhaust systems, or something as simple as allowing your vehicle to warm up in your garage during those cold winter days.  How can you reduce the opportunity for increased levels of carbon monoxide in your home?  It’s simple.  Follow these preventative measures to ensure your family will not suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • At the beginning of every heating season, be sure to have your fuel burning equipment such as your oil or gas fired furnaces, water heaters, oven ranges and stoves, clothes dryers, fire places and wood stoves inspected by certified technicians.
  • Have you flues and chimneys checked for any buildup of creosote or blockage of the chimney.
  • Be sure to maintain all your fuel-fired equipment as described by the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • NEVER leave your car running in an attached garage.  The vapors from the vehicle’s exhaust could increase the level of carbon monoxide in your home dramatically in a matter of minutes!
  • NEVER use a gas stove to heat your home in the event of a power failure or heating equipment failure.
  • NEVER use charcoal or propane grills indoors.  Not only does this pose an extreme carbon monoxide hazard, it is also a severe fire hazard as well.
  • Think safety first when considering the use of alternative heating, such as space heaters.  Make sure the space heater is far away from combustible materials at a minimum of three to four feet.  If using fuel fired space heaters, never sleep in a room without proper ventilation.  Make sure that all fuel-fired space heaters are equipped with oxygen depletion sensors.
  • Do not use gasoline-powered equipment in enclosed areas of the home.  Such engines create a mass amount of carbon monoxide.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors as you would smoke detectors.  It is recommended that you should have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of the home, as well as in all sleeping areas.  When installing your carbon monoxide detectors, be sure not to install them within five feet of any fuel burning equipment.  Make it a point to install these live saving alarms.  They will not work if they stay in the package on your workbench!

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING

Because carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas, it is not always immediately evident when it has become a problem.  All too often, people who have mild or moderate problems with carbon monoxide will find they feel sick while they spend time at home. 

When venturing out into the fresh air, they will begin to feel much better but will have re-occurring symptoms shortly after returning to their home.  People who are most susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide are infants, elderly residents, those family members who suffer from respiratory or heart disease, or anemia, and women who are pregnant must take special care.  However, nobody is immune to the effects of carbon monoxide.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include the following:

  • Physical Symptoms: Headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, numbness, tingling, vertigo
  • Cognitive/Memory Impairments: attention problems, multi-tasking problems, word-finding problems, short-term memory loss, verbal and/or visual deficits
  • Affective Disorders (Emotional/Personality Effects): irritability, anxiety, lack of motivation, temper, loss of interest, sleep disturbance
  • Sensory and Motor Disorders: blurred vision, double vision, buzzing in the ears, decreased coordination, speaking, eating, and swallowing disorders
  • Gross Neurological Disorders: Seizures, inability to speak, balance problems, tremors

WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A CARBON MONOXIDE EMERGENCY:

Should you or a family member suspect that there may be an increased level of carbon monoxide in your home, or you have installed the recommended carbon monoxide alarms in your residence and they begin to go into alarm, follow these simple steps to help resolve the problem:

  • First and foremost, CALL 9-1-1!  This important step will allow trained first responders with the equipment needed to protect you and your family to investigate the possible presence of carbon monoxide.  DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL THIS EMERGENCY NUMBER!  Many times, calls will be made directly to a volunteer firehouse, which will delay the response of emergency personnel.  After asking the caller why they did not decide to call 9-1-1, more often they state that they did not think this type of situation is what they would consider as an emergency that warranted such a call, when in reality it is!
  • Get any suspected victim into fresh air immediately!
  • If you can not get the victim out of the house, open all of the windows and doors to allow fresh air into the home.  Be sure to turn off any fuel-fired appliances.
  • Those persons who have been exposed to elevated levels of carbon monoxide should be taken to the closest hospital as soon as possible.  A simple blood test will determine the amount of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream.

Should you have any questions pertaining to this matter, you may contact the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office at (203) 891-4700.  The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office also has a website, which you can find information about this and many other fire related topics.  You can visit the website by going to www.orangefiremarshal.com.

Fire Marshal Tim Smith urges all residents to install a carbon monoxide detector in their home, and the Fire Marshal’s office gives them out for free. If you don’t have one, call the Smith at the number above to see if his office has any more available.

What Is The Fine For Passing A School Bus with Flashing Lights?

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, Police & Fire, School News  Comments Off on What Is The Fine For Passing A School Bus with Flashing Lights?
Aug 262019
 

school bus with flashing lightsOriginally published in 2014, but still relevant.

Watch out, Bus drivers are keeping an eye out and police responding to complaints of drivers who do not comply with the laws regarding stopping for stopped school buses.

If you pass a bus, a camera will take a picture of your vehicle and you will get a summons.

From the State Website the whole story, including fines:

You want to know the legislative history of the act requiring police, on receipt of a written complaint from a school bus driver, to issue a written warning or summons to a motor vehicle owner for illegally passing a stopped school bus.

For your information, we also have appended a chart showing the disposition of cases in which vehicles failed to stop for a school bus from 2007 through 2011, according to figures provided by the Judicial Branch. We were unable to determine how many of these cases were based on a bus driver’s written report. Representatives of the Chief State’s Attorney’s office and the Judicial Branch said the state does not track those numbers.

BACKGROUND

A motor vehicle cannot pass a stopped school bus displaying flashing red signal lights but must stop at least 10 feet before or behind such a bus (CGS § 14-279). Under the law, police must issue a written warning or a summons to the owner of a vehicle who illegally passes a school bus “upon a written report from any school bus operator…specifying the license plate number, color and type of any vehicle” the bus driver sees violating the law. The driver’s report must also note the date, approximate time, and location of the violation.

PA 85-71

A provision allowing police to issue a written warning to a vehicle owner on receiving a bus driver’s written report was enacted in 1985 (PA 85-71, originating as HB 5749). The act also allowed anyone over age 18 to submit such a written report.

The Transportation Committee held a hearing on HB 5749 on February 4, 1985. Several people testified in support of the provision, arguing there was insufficient enforcement of the school bus passing law. A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) representative spoke against the bill.

Sharon Ward, school transportation safety director for a school bus contractor, said: “the statute must be changed so that local police and state troopers are required to make arrests when drivers give an adequate amount of information…the marker number, the color and make of the car.”

Another witness, Robin Leeds, executive director of the Connecticut School Transportation Association, said the bill “represents an attempt to address the most serious problem in school transportation, the danger in the unloading zones. Not only do all our fatalities occur here, but our most severe injuries as well. Already this winter, we have seen at least five children hit and seriously injured by motorists who did not stop for the flashing red lights of the school bus. In two of those instances, the motorist said to the officer…I didn’t know I was supposed to stop.”

“It is safe to assume,” she continued, “that those motorists had passed a school bus before. If their license numbers had been turned in by a bus driver and accepted by a policeman…who then sent a written warning…they would have known they were supposed to stop before they hit the children.” She said 20 states already had similar laws.

John O’Connell, DMV’s public transportation administrator, opposed the bill, saying the department had “some…concerns regarding the question of constitutionality and an abuse of such a statute about drivers picking up the plate numbers…”

The House of Representatives considered the bill on April 10, 1985, and passed it after amending it by voice vote to allow, rather than require, police to issue a written warning on receipt of a bus driver’s written report (LCO # 5478).

Speaking in support of the amended bill, Representative Wilber said “the feeling of the [transportation] committee was that most people do not pass school buses intentionally, but they do it forgetfully, and if a warning is issued, they probably will not do it again, or not so likely to do it again.”

Representative Frankel opposed the bill, saying its “fatal flaw” was that it was directed at vehicle owners, rather than the person driving the vehicle when the violation occurred. But Representative Ward, arguing for the bill, said school bus drivers “faced…a dilemma. They see a vehicle pass them illegally…They do not know who the operator is, but they clearly can get a marker number.”

“Nothing in this bill prevents a ticket if you know who was the driver,” Ward said. “It takes the extra step, however, of allowing a warning to the owner of a vehicle when you cannot identify the operator.”

The House passed the amended bill by a 117 to 32 vote.

The Senate debate occurred on April 17, 1985. Senator Giulietti opposed the measure, saying it did not “really have any teeth” because it allowed, rather than required, police to issue a warning. He also objected to “making school bus drivers or any other person over 18…policemen.” Senator Consoli also objected to giving “non-police personnel” the authority to make a complaint in these cases.

Senator Morano, speaking on behalf of the bill, argued that “any tool…to teach people not to go racing by stopped school buses would be good legislation.” Senator DiBella, also speaking on behalf of the bill, said it would allow a policeman “to issue a warning without being on the scene.”

The Senate passed the bill, as amended by the House, by a vote of 30 to 3.

SUBSEQUENT CHANGES TO THE LAW

PA 85-71 was codified in CGS § 14-279. The statute has since been amended several times, as follows (excluding technical changes):

PA 86-155 changed the law by (1) explicitly requiring vehicles to stop for stopped school buses displaying flashing red signal lights on any highway, private road, parking area, or school property; (2) eliminating the ability of “other persons 18 years of age or over” to submit written reports of vehicles failing to stop; and (3) requiring, rather than allowing, a police officer to issue either a written warning or summons on receiving a school bus driver’s written report.

PA 01-192 expressly required emergency vehicles, such as fire department and police vehicles, to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus displaying flashing red signal lights.

PA 11-255 replaced the fine for the first offense of between $100 and $500 with a $450 fine and allowed video evidence of failing to stop for a school bus.

Open House: New Construction In Active Adult Community

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Jul 212019
 

Open House at 37 Beecher Walk today from 12-2 p.m.

Newly constructed 1,330 sqft 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo at 37 Beecher Walk, a lakefront community for active adults that features energy-efficient cluster homes with first-floor master bedroom suites.

Are you looking to downsize, but still live close to or move closer to your family? If the answer is yes, then Beecher Walk is the solution for you.

This beautiful new construction 55+ adult community is tucked away off the road and yet is conveniently located near all the shopping and dining possibilities of the Boston Post.

All units have the convenience of a ranch-style living with a main level master suite and laundry room but with the added bonus of a guest bedroom and full bath on the upper level. Have we mentioned the gorgeous kitchen featuring an island large enough to seat four?

And all the storage space available in the full basement? And, of course, the energy-efficient gas heat and cooking? Enjoy all the benefits of new construction — especially the opportunity to design your very own unit by picking out all the finishing touches.

Schedule an appointment to visit today! There are a limited number of income-restricted opportunity priced units available. Please call or email for details. For GPS, use 100 South Orange Center Road and look for our sign!

Available for $265,900.