7 Connecticut Traffic Laws Drivers Commonly Ignore

Many Connecticut drivers forget about important traffic laws, such as right-of-way rules and the minimum speed limit.

In Connecticut, there are a number of traffic laws that drivers commonly ignore. If you don’t know the rules or choose not to follow them, violations can lead to costly fines and accidents.

This article will review seven of the most commonly ignored traffic laws in the state. So if you plan to hit the road in Connecticut, read up on these rules to avoid getting ticketed.

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1. Connecticut Slower Traffic Keep Right Law: The “Move Over” Rule

Connecticut law requires vehicles that are traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic to drive in the right lane. When a right lane does not exist, you must drive as close as possible to the right edge of the road.

You may leave the right lane to pass another driver or prepare for a left turn.

Any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic shall be driven in the right-hand lane available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the highway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle or when preparing for a left turn.

CT Stat. § 14-230

2. Connecticut Flow of Traffic Law: The “Minimum Speed” Rule

In Connecticut, the minimum speed limit for limited-access divided highways is 40 mph. When driving on any other road, you cannot drive so slowly that you delay or block normal traffic flow.

These “minimum speed” rules do not apply if you need to drive slowly to operate your vehicle safely or obey the law or a traffic officer. There is also an exception for emergencies.

No person shall operate a motor vehicle at a speed lower than forty miles per hour on any limited access divided highway and no person shall operate a motor vehicle on any other highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in an emergency, or in compliance with the law or the direction of an officer.

CT Stat. § 14-220

3. Connecticut Driving in Left Lane Law: The “Passing on the Left” Rule

When overtaking another car in Connecticut, you must pass at a safe distance to the left. You cannot return to your original lane until you have completely cleared the other vehicle.

If you want to pass on a two-lane road, you must wait until the left side is clear of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance. You can’t pass if doing so would interfere with the safety of any driver on either side of the road.

Connecticut also requires drivers being passed to yield the right-of-way. You must not increase your speed until the other vehicle safely passes you.

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the highway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

The driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the highway in overtaking and passing another vehicle unless the left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken.

CT Stat. § 14-232

4. Connecticut Rear-End Collision Law: The “Following Too Closely” Rule

The Connecticut traffic code makes it illegal to follow another driver more closely than is reasonable and prudent. What is “reasonable” depends on how fast you are driving and what the road, traffic, and weather conditions are. You also can’t drive so close to another vehicle that you obstruct traffic.

No person operating a motor vehicle shall follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having regard for the speed of such vehicles, the traffic upon and the condition of the highway and weather conditions.

No person operating a motor vehicle shall drive such vehicle in such proximity to another vehicle as to obstruct or impede traffic.

CT Stat. § 14-240

5. Connecticut Mobile Phone Driving Law: The “Hands-Free Driving” Rule

Under Connecticut law, drivers cannot use hand-held cell phones while driving unless there is an emergency. This includes making calls and sending and reading text messages. However, while adult drivers can use phones with hands-free accessories, drivers under the age of 18 cannot use mobile phones at all.

No person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a highway while using a hand-held mobile telephone to engage in a call or while using a mobile electronic device.

This subsection shall not apply to the use of a hand-held mobile telephone for the sole purpose of communicating regarding an emergency situation.

No person under eighteen years of age shall use any hand-held mobile telephone, including one with a hands-free accessory, or a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway.

CT Stat. § 14-296aa

6. Connecticut Four-Way Intersection Law: The “4-Way Stop” Rule

When two or more vehicles arrive at a Connecticut intersection at the same time, drivers must yield the right-of-way to cars on their right. This means that the vehicle furthest to the right will go first and the left-most driver will go last.

Each driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall grant the right-of-way at such intersection to any vehicle approaching from his right when such vehicles are arriving at such intersection at approximately the same time, unless otherwise directed by a traffic officer.

CT Stat. § 14-245

7. Connecticut Left Turn Intersection Law: The “Right of Way” Rule

To make a legal left turn in Connecticut, you must yield the right-of-way to approaching vehicles that are in the intersection or close enough to be dangerous. You cannot turn unless you can do so safely.

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close to such intersection as to constitute an immediate hazard.

CT Stat. § 14-242

People often think of traffic laws as being trivial. The reality is that following these laws is essential to keep yourself and others safe while driving.

As a driver in Connecticut, it’s important to be aware of the traffic laws – even those laws that are commonly ignored. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and you could face fines or worse if you’re caught breaking the rules of the road. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you always follow the traffic code.

Amy Grover is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, then passing the bar exam in 2014, Amy began her diverse career as a practicing attorney. Amy has a range of experience in the legal field, including work with the Department... Read More >>