Watch For Me CT

We all share the responsibility to
make sure Connecticut roads are
safe for everyone, including pedestrians and bicyclists.

Safe places to walk and bike are important for supporting active, vibrant communities. The “Watch for Me CT” program aims to reduce pedestrian and bicycle injuries and deaths through a comprehensive, targeted approach of public education and police enforcement.

On this site you can learn more about how to be a safer driver, bicyclist, and pedestrian, and ultimately, reduce the number of people hit or killed by vehicles on Connecticut roadways.

About the Campaign

Each year, about 1,500 pedestrians and 550 bicyclists are hit by cars on Connecticut roadways. Watch for Me CT is a comprehensive program, run by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) in partnership with Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, aimed at reducing the number of pedestrians and bicyclists hit and injured in crashes with vehicles.

The Watch for Me CT program involves two key elements: 1) safety and educational messages directed toward drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, and 2) enforcement efforts by area police to crack down on some of the violations of traffic safety laws. Local programs are typically led by municipal, county, or regional government staff with the involvement of many others, including pedestrian and bicycle advocates, city planners, law enforcement agencies, engineers, public health professionals, elected officials, school administrators and others.

All Connecticut communities are encouraged to use Watch for Me CT campaign materials to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety in their communities.

Bicycle Safety
Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrian Safety
When do pedestrian crashes most often occur?
Day of the week
  • Weekends: 22 percent
  • Weekdays: 78 percent
  • Spring: 22 percent (Mar-May)
  • Summer: 22 percent (Jun-Aug)
  • Fall: 29 percent (Sept – Nov)
  • Winter: 27 percent (Dec-Feb)
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at marked and unmarked crossings, meaning cars must yield to pedestrians.
  • State law requires pedestrians to use marked crosswalks when they are provided, and it is unlawful to cross a street outside a marked crosswalk if the pedestrian is between two signalized intersections.
  • When NOT at an intersection or marked crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right of way to all vehicles.
  • At crosswalks with pedestrian signals, state law requires that pedestrians obey the “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signs in the same way a driver must obey Red or Green lights.
  • State law requires pedestrians walking along the road to use sidewalks when available.
  • When sidewalks are not available, pedestrians are to walk to the far left edge of the road facing traffic. Walking in this direction gives pedestrians the best view of traffic.
Be Safe
  • Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as you can.
  • Look for cars in all directions – including those turning – before crossing the street. Never assume a driver sees you or will stop. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing to make sure they see you.
  • Use crosswalks whenever possible. Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic. Don’t cross mid-block or diagonally. If there’s no crosswalk nearby, cross in a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Look left, right, and left again.
  • No crosswalk? Yield to traffic. Pedestrians walking outside of crosswalks must yield to all other traffic.
  • Be careful crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Make sure each lane of traffic is clear before you cross. At bus stops, cross behind the bus or at the nearest crosswalk.
  • Obey all pedestrian traffic signals. Be predictable to drivers and follow the rules of the road.
Be Visible
  • Enhance your visibility at night. Walk in well-lit areas, carry a flashlight or wear something reflective, such as stickers or armbands, to be more visible.
  • Stand clear of parked cars, buses, hedges, and other obstacles before crossing the street.
Be Aware
  • Avoid distraction. Texting or talking on cell phones or wearing earphones when crossing streets diminishes the ability of your two key senses – hearing and seeing – that are used to detect and avoid cars. So particularly when crossing streets, put down the phone and turn of the music for a few seconds.
  • Watch for cars backing up in parking lots and driveways. Brake lights can mean that a car is about to back up.
  • On a sharp corner with limited visibility (a blind curve) or a steep hill, it's safer to walk along the outer corner rather than to stay in the inner corner, even though this is opposite of the rule to face traffic when walking. In the inner corner, you won't be able to see upcoming traffic and it won't see you. Cross the road at a safe distance from the curve, walk along the outer curve, and cross back again at a safe distance. You should be extra careful during this segment, because drivers may not expect pedestrians on the right side of the road.
  • Runners are pedestrians too. Like walkers, runners should run against traffic, cross at crosswalks whenever possible, and obey crosswalk signals. Wear bright, reflective clothes so drivers can see you.

    (Adapted from Bike Walk CT’s "Give Respect, Get Respect. Share the Road, Connecticut"
When do bicyclist crashes most often occur?
Day of the week
  • Weekends: 26 percent
  • Weekdays: 74 percent
Time of day
  • Weekdays: between 2 and 6 pm
  • Weekends: between 11 am and 4 pm
  • More than half of all crashes, 67 percent, occur from May through September
  • Since 2015, it is legal for cyclists to ride as close to the right side of the road as is safe, as judged by the cyclist.
  • Bicyclists must ride on the right in the same direction as traffic and a far to the right as is safe.
  • Bicyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Bicyclists must use hand signals to communicate intended movements, such as turns or stops.
  • Bicyclists under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet on public roads, public paths and public rights-of-way.
  • All child passengers under 40 pounds or 40 inches must be seated and secured in a child seat or bicycle trailer.
  • Bicyclists being passed by a motor vehicle or another bicyclist should remain as far to the right as possible and not increase their speed while being overtaken.
  • Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way before entering or crossing any main-traveled or through highway if the roadway they are on is posted with a “yield right-of-way” sign.
Be Safe
  • Follow the rules of the road. Obey stop signs and traffic signals as you would if you were driving a car. Always ride on the right in the direction of traffic. Yield to pedestrians in or at crosswalks. Avoid riding on sidewalks.
  • Wear a helmet correctly on every ride to help prevent head injury. Helmets work only if you wear them correctly. Your helmet should be level (not tilted up or down), snug, with the chin strap buckled.
  • Ride as far to the right as is safe. If there’s no bike lane, ride in the travel lane when necessary for your safety. The extreme right edge of the road isn’t always the safest place to ride. Riding in the travel lane makes it easier for drivers to see you, reduces the chance that a driver may pass too close, and may be necessary to avoid hazards.
  • Ride single file in traffic. You may ride two abreast if traffic can pass you safely. Common courtesy usually requires riding single file in traffic, except when passing others.
Be Visible
  • Use lights. Always ride with lights at night. Reflectors aren’t enough for safe riding at night or in dim conditions. For night riding, it is recommended to use a headlight visible from at least 500 feet and a red tail light visible from 600 feet.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials at night and when visibility is low.
  • Alert others that you’re approaching or passing. Use a bell or call ahead with a friendly greeting, such as "passing on your left." Allow plenty of space when passing others.
Be Aware
  • Scan ahead for drains, potholes, debris, or railroad tracks. Give yourself time to go around them safely. Ride in a straight, predictable manner. Don’t weave, swerve, or stop suddenly. In slick or sandy conditions, give yourself extra distance to stop.
  • Signal all turns. Use proper hand signals in advance to tell others where you are going. Look, signal, and look back again when you turn or change lanes. At intersections, choose the lane with the arrow pointing where you want to go.
  • Stay out of the "door zone." Ride 3-4 feet away from parked cars so you don’t get hit by an opening car door.
  • Don’t ride distracted. Distracted riding is dangerous riding. Wait to use your cellphone until you’re off the road. Riding with headphones is unsafe if you’re distracted and can’t hear other road users.

    (Adapted from Bike Walk CT’s "Give Respect, Get Respect. Share the Road, Connecticut"
  • Expect cyclists in the travel lane. Cyclists may ride in or near the middle of the travel lane when it’s not safe to ride on the far right side of the road. Cyclists should ride in the travel lane to avoid hazards and when the road is too narrow for cars and bikes to proceed safely side by side.
  • Let cyclists ride as far to the right as is safe. Cyclists should ride as far to the right as they judge to be safe. Give them space to avoid hazards like potholes, debris and drain grates.
  • Pass with care. Give cyclists at least 3 feet. It’s the law since 2008. Keep at least 3 feet of space between your vehicle and a cyclist. Don’t blast your horn when approaching cyclists; startling them could cause an accident. Don’t pass a cyclist if you’re immediately turning right; you may cause a crash. Before moving back in your lane, make sure you won’t cut the cyclist off.
  • You may cross the center line to pass a cyclist if it’s safe. Vehicles may overtake and pass pedestrians, bicycles, and other obstacles even in a marked no-passing zone, provided such overtaking and passing may be conducted safely, with adequate sight distance and without interfering with oncoming traffic.
  • Be vigilant at intersections. For left turns, yield to oncoming cyclists. For right turns, always check for cyclists behind you to avoid cutting them off. Assume cyclists are traveling straight unless they signal otherwise or are in a turn lane.
  • Mind the door zone. Check for approaching cyclists before opening your car door so you don’t hit them. Opening the door with your right hand helps you look over your left shoulder for cyclists.
  • Every intersection is a crosswalk, even if it’s not marked. A crosswalk is the extension of a sidewalk past the corner curb to the sidewalk on the other side of the street. If a pedestrian makes eye contact with you, they are ready to cross the street. Yield to the pedestrian. Do not stop in a crosswalk.
  • Be patient. Drivers should give disabled pedestrians plenty of time to cross the street. Do not try to rush them. Doing so endangers their safety.
  • Do not pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. A pedestrian you cannot see may be crossing the street. Stop and proceed when all pedestrians have crossed the street.
  • Do not drive on a sidewalk, except to cross it to enter or exit a driveway or alley. When crossing, yield to all pedestrians.
  • Please slow down. Obey all speed limits. A pedestrian hit by a car going 40 mph has an 85% chance of being killed. At 20 mph the risk is 5%.
  • Remember that some crosswalks have pavement markings and some do not. "Yield" means slow down or stop. Stop well back from the crosswalk so other drivers can see the pedestrians crossing. Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk.
  • Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights.
  • Avoid distracted driving, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Expect cyclists, walkers, runners and others on the road. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists everywhere. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers, and are allowed to ride in the travel lane. Riding on sidewalks is prohibited in many Connecticut towns.
  • Signal your turns and look both ways before changing lanes, turning, and at driveways.
  • Expect the unexpected around curves and over hills where visibility ahead is limited.

    (Adapted from Bike Walk CT’s "Give Respect, Get Respect. Share the Road, Connecticut"

General Tips and Tricks

Bicycle Safety
Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrian Safety

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