The city of Hartford is cracking down on drivers blocking the intersections in the Connecticut capitol.
Hartford officials launched its Don’t Block the Box” campaign on Thursday. City officials said the campaign is to "enhance awareness and enforcement of a law that prohibits drivers from entering an intersection when they will not be able to make it through before the light turns red."
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said when drivers "jam up an intersection," they are " tying up a whole city and putting pedestrians at risk."
“This pilot program will help eliminate gridlock, keep traffic moving and make city streets safer for pedestrians. I applaud Council Chairman [TJ ] Clarke and Majority Leader [Julio] Concepción, as well as the Hartford Police Department, for taking the lead to get this done," Bronin said in a statement on Thursday.
The following intersections were marked as “Don’t Block the Box” locations by the city of Hartford:
The following intersections are planned to be marked as “Don’t Block the Box” locations:
Bronin said residents "should feel safe while crossing the street."
“Stepping up enforcement of existing traffic laws will decrease congestion, improve air quality, and create better conditions for pedestrians across the city, most notably kids, seniors, and mobility impaired," Bronin said.
In 2009, a law was signed that allows any city or town "to adopt an ordinance prohibiting motor vehicles from stopping in a designated intersection and blocking the passage of other vehicles or pedestrians." The Hartford’s City Council adopted the ordinance for “Don’t Block the Box” locations earlier this year.
The “Don’t Block the Box” locations will be monitored by the Hartford Police Department. Violators can face a $117 fine. The mayor 's office said city will receive 50 percent of fees collected from violators excluding administrative costs.
"As always, our number one concern is safety, and that includes keeping our streets safe by maintaining the flow of traffic. That's why the message we're sending today is simple: if you 'Block the Box,' you'll get a ticket. No matter what vehicle you're driving, you'll get ticketed, period," Clarke said in a statement on Thursday.
“This campaign is aimed at educating commuters by increasing awareness of the dangers of blocking a busy intersection,” said . “By 'Blocking the Box,' not only are drivers increasing congestion, but they’re also causing a real safety concern for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. We hope this campaign serves as a small step in improving the City’s quality of life, all while keeping residents and visitors safe," Concepción said in a statement on Thursday.
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