Over the past decade, cellphones have jumped in popularity. Almost every person aged 12 and above has their own personal phone with most of us feeling like we cannot go without it for a single day. Our entire lives are wrapped up in our phones and thus it leads many to the temptation of driving while distracted by using the phone. Like any new technology, phones can be both a blessing and a curse, with research helping law makers determine what statutes must be in place to ensure the public’s safety.
Talking on a cell phone whether hands free or not is still completely legal in the state of Colorado for those over the age of 18. For underage drivers this is not the case. They must avoid cellphone use or run the risk of receiving a fine. This also includes the use of hands-free devices. The one exception for underage drivers is in the instance of an emergency when a driver is contacting a public safety entity. Underage drivers who violate this law will fall under a class A traffic infraction. The first offense will be met with a $50 fine and subsequent offenses will carry a steeper $100 fine. Additionally, underage drivers will receive one point on their driving record.
Colorado has completely outlawed texting while driving for drivers of all ages. Interestingly, the police are only able to enforce this law when the offending driver is driving in a reckless manner. Once more, there is an exception for those in emergency situations who are contacting a public safety entity. A texting ticket is serious business as it is considered a class 2 misdemeanor and carries a fine of $300.00. It is significantly more serious if a person injures or causes the death of another person due to impaired driving caused by texting. In this event, the offending driver will be convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor, spend 10 days in jail, and be fined up to $1,000. There are also consequences to one’s drivers record and subsequent insurance rates as a texting violation comes with four points to one’s license.
In addition, to the negative consequences listed, a texting and driving violation in some circumstances could potentially lead to a reckless driving conviction. In the event the texting led to someone’s death, the offender may be charged with vehicular homicide in addition to the other possible charges.