HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Many new laws go into effect in Connecticut on Friday, Oct. 1.
The rear seat belt law requires all occupants in a vehicle, regardless of age, to wear a seat belt. Previously, passengers over 16 in the back seat were not required to buckle up. Law enforcement can issue a fine for the unbelted passenger if the driver is pulled over for a primary offense, such as speeding. The fine is $50 if the driver is 18 or older and $75 if the driver is under 18.
Passed as part of legalizing recreational marijuana, patients who use medical cannabis can start growing their own at home. Only residents who are prescribed marijuana can grow up to six plants. Recreational cannabis users have to wait until 2023 to grow at home.
Parts of the expanded bottle bill go into effect. too. Some stores will have to have reverse vending machines that will accept empty containers, and a five-cent surcharge will be put on those miniature bottles of liquor called “nips.” The money will go back to the town.
Another law includes expanding the definition of domestic violence, which is designed to address the experiences of survivors of all forms of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence can now get restraining orders for abuse other than physical violence.
A new pedestrian safety law states cars must yield to people in crosswalks who show interest in crossing. Cars must stop if someone signals they want to walk. It’s also now illegal to open a car door in the path of a bicycle.
“Having these new laws will also slow down traffic because now you have to be paying attention even further,” New Haven Police Interim Chief Renee Dominguez said.
An age discrimination law makes it illegal for employers to require a job applicant’s age, birth date, or graduation date.
“People can get their foot in the door and not be discarded before they even get into the interview process,” Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) said.
A portion of the Clean Air Act will prohibit employers from having smoking areas unless they’re 25 feet away from a building.
Other laws include:
- Drivers stopping for ice cream trucks – Tristian’s Law
- New restrictions on PFAS; The use of firefighting foam containing PFAS is banned