Connecticut Rating: Caution

Connecticut needs improvement because of gaps in Advocates’ recommended optimal laws, as reported in the 2019 Roadmap Report.

Highway Safety Laws Needed

  • Primary Enforcement Seatbelt Law (Rear)
  • All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
  • Booster Seat Law
  • GDL – 6-Month Holding Period (Without DE Exemption)
  • GDL – Stronger Supervised Driving Requirement
  • GDL – Stronger Nighttime Restriction Provision
  • GDL – Age 18 for Unrestricted License
  • Open Container Law

Current Optimal Highway Safety Laws

  • Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Front)
  • Rear Facing Through Age 2 Law
  • GDL – Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
  • GDL – Passenger Restriction Provision
  • GDL – Cell Phone Restriction
  • IID for All Offenders
  • All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction
  • Child Endangerment

*States are credited with having laws only if their laws meet Advocates’ optimal criteria

Hot: Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

In 2017, 29 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers in Connecticut.

The current GDL law in Connecticut includes the following components:

  • A three-stage licensing system beginning at age 16 for learner’s permit, age 16 years and 6 months for the intermediate stage (16 years 4 months for teens completing driver education), and age 18 for full licensure
  • A mandatory 6 month holding period for the learner’s permit stage (4 months for teens completing driver education)
  • A minimum of 40 hours of supervised practice driving during the learner’s permit stage
  • A prohibition on unsupervised nighttime driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. during the intermediate stage
  • A passenger restriction prohibiting any passengers other than parents or driving instructors for the first 6 months after licensure and prohibiting passengers other than parents, driving instructors, or members of the immediate family for the next 6 months after licensure
  • A prohibition on non-emergency use of hand-held cell phones for all drivers and on hand-held and hand-free cell phones for drivers younger than age 18
  • A prohibition on texting while driving for all drivers

These changes are needed to improve Connecticut’s GDL law and meet optimal GDL provisions:

  • A 6 month holding period during the learner’s permit stage (without a driver education exemption)
  • Stronger supervised and nighttime driving requirement
  • Require restrictions for the entire intermediate stage through age 17

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