Family Of Jogger Killed By Distracted Driver Applauds Tougher State Law

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Kenneth Dorsey of Norwalk was killed by a distracted driving while he was jogging.
Kenneth Dorsey of Norwalk was killed by a distracted driving while he was jogging. Photo Credit: File

NORWALK, Conn. – The family of a man who was struck and killed by a distracted driver while jogging on New Canaan Avenue in Norwalk in 2012 commended a new state law requiring steep fines but said more still needs to be done, according to the New Canaan News.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Monday signed the Act Concerning the Penalty for Causing Harm to a Vulnerable User of a Public Way, which will fine drivers up to $1,000 who injure pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair-bound residents and anyone else who has right to the roadways, according to the New Canaan News.

Kenneth Dorsey, 44, was jogging in March 2012 when he was struck by a car driven by Brianna McEwan, a New Canaan High School student. McEwan had been checking her cellphone while driving, police said. She was a minor at the time of the accident and placed on probation.

Marlene and Leo Dorsey, Kenneth’s parents, hope lawmakers will support a law to make using mobile phones while driving illegal, the New Canaan News report said.

Read the full story here at the New Canaan News.

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Comments (11)

@ Ken P Jr - To clarify, most if not all road work comes from your property tax, something we ALL pay, NOT as you imply gas tax. Furthermore, like yourself, you drive and bike so you are making a tax contribution when you drive . I do agree with your 'everyone' statement about being considerate, knowing the laws and obeying them. Having said that, the many laws put in place for cars should not and in many states do not apply to bikes. Until they are changed, I cannot suggest they should not be followed.

Its a good law on the surface. But its disgusting that this young lady served no time for killing a human being negligently.
As far as bicycles and joggers sharin g the road though we should be reasonable.
In East Norwalk its not uncommon for bicyclists to be in the center of the lane, or riding two abreast making it necessary to cross the center line to get around them. Its a two way street, cyclists who are more than 3 feet from the curb should be ticketed. Joggers in the street if theres a sidewalk should be ticketed. Motorists pay taxes to support the infrastructure, cyclists and joggers do not. End of story. Its bad enough we lose our streets every other weekend for this race or that race in East Norwalk, listening to people whine about bike lanes and inconsiderate drivers who simply want to use the streets motorists pay for is silly. If EVERYONE, even cyclists and joggers, were considerate it would be a non issue. And I do ride a bicycle all the time, have been doing so in East Norwalk since 1976 without issue. A big part of the issue is the traffic brought in by marketing our beach for profit. Let it turn back into a small city's beach again and nothing more will help a lot in this area.

Tonight is the Ride of Silence bicycle event which will start from the Danbury Green at 7pm. This international event To HONOR those who have been injured or killed
To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here
To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD. Here is the link providing details. Please arrive around 6:30.

Laws are all well and good, but I don't see any enforcement. What I do see is people on their phones talking and driving and one cares because the law is never enforced until someone gets killed and then you get a fine???

It was/is an outrage that Brianna McEwan was merely placed on probation. She didn't even have her license suspended? I hope her conscience haunts her every time she gets behind the wheel, and in particular, every time she is with another driver who uses a cell phone. I hope her family and friends have learned from her awful negligence. What is SO important that you can't pull over, that you MUST talk or text immediately? It just took one careless instant for a family to be dealt a shattering blow.
This new law, with a fine of up to $1,000 simply doesn't have teeth.There are plenty of people in Fairfield County who could pay that fine without batting an eye. However, their time is more precious than their money, so hit 'em where it hurts. License suspension and community service in the event of minor injury, and license revocation and jail time in the event of disabling injury and death. Maybe these penalties will be harsh enough to get people to stop and think about their cell phone use, once, sadly, a few of these tragedies occur and become publicized.
My condolences to the Dorsey family if you are reading this. Such a terrible loss. No doubt you miss Kenneth every day.

Hey the Law now is on the books------She should have gone to JAIL and served time !!!!!!!!!!! Distracted driving !!!!! Homicide especially for a Young untrained driver !!!!!!!!! Killed a guy in the prime of his life and got off-----Disgusting !!!!! Sean got you on the Bike issue---that Fairfield issue ---Both of those riders were issued tickets !!!!! a start !!!! Shame people don't have the respect for others , Shame they are so into themselves that they don't drive or ride safely !!!!

I wonder who is going to POLICE this law, They sure DO NOT GIVE THE BIKE RIDERS any tickets, I have been pesona;y almost in 5 accidents! There is no registration on BIKES!!! They should be issued PLATES because if they are going to be on our roads, they are all supose to adhere to the laws set forth by the MVD but there is NO AND I REPEAT NO POLICE intervention! Have you ever seen undercover POLICE surveylence for all the bikes Running STOP signs? Didnt think so......lets see if Malloy reads this and ACTs???? I doubt it!!!

This ongoing discussion about cyclists not obeying the law presented in an article about distracted driving is ridiculous. The times a cyclist injures or kills a pedestrian is rare to none. This law is about protecting people who are vulnerable and people on their cell phones are hazards, especially to cyclists and pedestrians. In any case, this is not a discussion about who obeys the laws. The fact is NO ONE DOES, cars, bikes, or pedestrians. But you seem to present this vision that the driver is automatically guilty if a 'vulnerable ' user is killed or injured. That is not true "This bill establishes a penalty for a motorist who, failing to exercise reasonable care on a “public way,” seriously injures or causes the death of a “vulnerable user,” provided the vulnerable user exercised reasonable care in using the public way. A driver who causes such injury or death faces a fine of up to $ 1,000." It still has to be established that the motorist did not "exercise reasonable care" and the injured person did. My biggest fear on my bicycle NOW, is people on cell phones, especially texting. While I expect you will continue to break traffic laws (speeding, rolling stops, stale yellow lights) as we all do in our cars and on our bikes, I hope you realize that your car is so much more powerful and needs all the attention you can provide.

I find the largest group of distracted drivers are the Norwalk police. Without fail every time I ride by a Norwalk cop he has the phone at his ear. What should happen is they should be fired and fined for this.

Great post Jim