Connecticut governor offers Avon Mountain plan

| 2/3/2006

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell is proposing a package of legislation intended to improve safety for all drivers on and near Avon Mountain.

The effort is in response to a deadly truck crash in July 2005 that killed four people and injured 19 in the town of Avon. It happened when a dump truck slammed into other vehicles that were stopped at the bottom of the mountain’s steep grade at the intersection of state Routes 44 and 10.

“Since the tragic crash on Avon Mountain … state and local leaders have taken action to improve safety on this roadway – but we can do more,” Rell said in a written statement.

In an effort to slow drivers and punish lawbreakers, Rell wants to double traffic fines on Avon Mountain. The fines would be similar to those levied on drivers who speed in work zones.

In addition to higher fines, Rell wants new, more visible signs and rumble strips to prevent drivers from crossing the yellow lines. She has set up a feature on her Web site where people who travel on Avon Mountain can report concerns about the road.

She also wants to strengthen the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles’ ability to suspend the licenses of intrastate motor carriers operating illegally and clearly outline commercial insurance reporting requirements.

Rell also included more than $400,000 in her proposed budget to hire more truck inspectors for all state roads.