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State Senator

Carlo Leone

Representing Stamford & Darien

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Conor’s Helmet Law, Tailgating Could Get Tougher With Vote By Sen. Leone And State Senate

State Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) joined a bipartisan vote in the state Senate this evening to improve the safety of young children riding skateboards and to crack down on dangerous drivers who tailgate others.

Sen. Leone, who is Senate Co-Chair of the Transportation Committee, voted in support of Senate Bill 290, which passed the state Senate on a 34-1 vote.

Existing law already generally prohibits a motorists from following another vehicle more closely than is reasonable; violators are subject to an infraction of $35 to $90. Senate Bill 290 doubles or triples that possible fine to between $100 and $200.

“There have been a number of pretty bad accidents on our highways caused by motorists who are following much too closely, who are tailgating, and this increased fine reflects some of the seriousness of those accidents,” Sen. Leone said.

Senate Bill 290 also requires children under 15 years old to wear helmets while riding a skate board, while roller-skating or inline skating. The bill was introduced by Ms. Irwin in memory of her son Conor, an accomplished student-athlete who died at the age of 14 following an accidental fall from his skateboard.

“For a mother’s broken heart, her wishes are to ensure that no parent should ever have to face the same tragedy,” Sen. Leone said in support of the bill.

At the March 5 public hearing on the bill, Ms. Irwin told the life story of her son Conor, an active student-athlete who played many sports and who always wore a variety of helmets, but did not wear one when skateboarding, in part because it is not required by law. He died in December 2016, 10 days after suffering a head injury following a fall from his skateboard.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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