Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

April 14, 2021

Sen. Anwar Joins Senate Approval of Legislation to Prevent Automobile Accidents Involving Children and Ice Cream Trucks

HARTFORD, CT – Today, state Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined the state Senate’s passage of a bill that aims to protect children from automobile accidents when they are purchasing ice cream. Senate Bill 608, “An Act Concerning the Safety of Children When Buying Ice Cream From A Frozen Dessert Truck,” equips ice cream trucks with resources, similar to a school bus, to make the trucks more visible to other motorists when they are parked and serving children ice cream. The legislation passed unanimously, 33-0.

This bipartisan bill also goes by the name of “Tristan’s Law.” It is named after Tristan Barhorst, a Wallingford boy who was killed after he was struck by a driver while he was crossing the street after purchasing ice cream. Barhorst was only 10.

“Children’s safety is paramount for us as leaders, and we must take the steps we can to protect them,” said Sen. Anwar, Senate Chair of the Children’s Committee. “I had the opportunity to speak to Tristan Barhorst’s family and their tragic story moved me deeply. I’m glad this common-sense legislation will help keep our children safe during times of joy. This way, we can make sure the tragedy that led to this bill’s creation never happens again.”

“The preventable and tragic death of Tristan Barhorst was a devastating loss to his family and our community as a whole,” said Representative Liz Linehan (D-Cheshire/Southington/Wallingford), House Chair of the Children’s Committee. “As Co-Chair of the Children’s Committee, and Representative for Cheshire and Wallingford, passing legislation in Tristan’s name to protect the safety of all children in the state of Connecticut is a high priority. Many thanks to Sen. Haskell and Rep. Lamar for their tireless efforts in helping to shepherd this legislation out of Committee and the Senate. I look forward to bringing the bill to the floor of the House as soon as possible.”

SB 608 calls for each ice cream truck to be equipped with the following, effective May 1, 2022:

  • Signal Lamps

    • Must be mounted at the same level and as high and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and shall display two alternately flashing red signal lights visible at a distance of not less than five hundred feet to the front and rear in normal sunlight upon a straight level highway.
  • Stop Signal Arm
    • Must be able to be extended horizontally from the left side of the frozen dessert truck. Two alternately flashing red lights shall be located in the outside corners of the extended signal arm and such corners shall be rounded to conform with the shape of the lights. The word “STOP” shall appear in six-inch-high white letters not to exceed four inches in length in the middle of the signal arm; above the word “STOP”, the phrase “IF SAFE” shall appear in two-inch-high white letters not to exceed one and three-fourths inches in length; below the word “STOP”, the phrase “THEN GO” shall appear in two-inch-high white letters not to exceed one and three-fourths inches in length.
  • Convex Mirror
    • Must be mounted on the front of the frozen dessert truck so the operator in a normal seating position is capable of seeing the area in front of the truck that is obscured by the hood.
  • Front Crossing Arm
    • Must be attached to the front bumper of the frozen dessert truck hinged from the truck’s right side.

Under the leadership of Senator Anwar and Representative Linehan, the Committee on Children is preparing a handout specifically for children regarding safety when buying ice cream from an Ice Cream Truck. This safety guide will be handed out in classrooms across Connecticut in mid-May, and will be free of charge for boards of education.

In addition to safety equipment for ice cream trucks to protect both the drivers and child pedestrians purchasing frozen desserts, SB 608 calls for drivers to stop “not less than 10 feet from the front when approaching and not less than ten feet from the rear when overtaking any frozen dessert truck on a highway when the frozen dessert truck is displaying flashing red signal lights and extending the stop signal arm and the front crossing arm.” The bill also bars ice cream truck drivers from stopping in high-traffic areas. The bill was previously voted out of the Transportation Committee unanimously on March 10.