Driving in the state of Connecticut might seem the same as driving in any other state, but all states set their own specific traffic laws. Many of Connecticut's driving rules are unique.
Failing to follow these laws can risk an encounter with a police officer — and an expensive ticket or harsh penalties. Learn about vehicles, driver's licenses, and traffic violations in this article.
You can also read the Connecticut Driver's Manual or visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website for more highway safety tips.
Connecticut's Vehicle and Driving Laws
Section 14 of the Connecticut General Statutes sets the state laws for traffic control and vehicles. Use the chart below to find specific traffic laws for common driving topics.
Traffic Safety Rules in Connecticut
Know a few key guidelines about driving on public roadways, including:
- You must generally drive in the right lane unless there is an obstacle, like a stopped car or debris.
- Only move to the far left lane for passing slow vehicles or when preparing to turn left.
- Follow the “move over" law by slowing down and safely changing lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle with its lights on.
- Stop for a stopped school bus, even if it is in a different lane or traveling in the opposite direction on a road without a median barrier.
- You can usually turn right at a red light in Connecticut under CGS § 14-299. Likewise, you may turn left at a red light between two one-way streets.
- You can't use a cell phone while driving except for navigation and hands-free calls under CGS § 14-296aa.
Pay attention to busy sidewalks and bike lanes. A pedestrian gains the right of way when they are about to enter a crosswalk. Always watch out for cyclists around you, even though they must follow the same laws as regular vehicles.
Be aware of local ordinances and regulations when driving in large cities like Hartford. Parking rules and other unique rules can catch drivers by surprise. Check local laws and all traffic signs to avoid citations.
Connecticut Traffic Violations
Common examples of infractions or misdemeanors and their basic fines include:
- Speeding: A total fine between $162 and $226, depending on how fast you drove above the speed limit, but up to $406 in fines for speeding in work or school zones
- Cell phone use: A $200 to $1,250 fine
- Running a red light or stop sign: A $139 fine
- Driving with an expired driver's license: A $92 fine for 60 days or less after expiration but a $158 fine after 60 days
See the Connecticut court schedule for more fines and example citations of infractions. Most violations also carry points that the court adds to your driving record. The standard penalties can increase if you have prior tickets for the same violation.
Criminal Traffic Offenses
More serious traffic offenses can have additional penalties, including jail time. For example, driving under the influence (DUI/OUI) imposes an ignition interlock device requirement for one year and a 45-day license suspension.
Talk to a Local Attorney
Connecticut traffic tickets can threaten your license, especially if you have prior offenses. You may want legal advice from a traffic law attorney in the state. Fighting a ticket can succeed in some circumstances, which can reduce or erase the penalties.