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Colorado Cell Phone Driving Laws

Posted in , on February 2, 2016

texting while driving

Colorado cell phone driving laws have long been a controversial topic. Whether or not you think cell phone use while driving should be legal, it’s essential to understand what Colorado laws have to say about cell phones and driving. Here’s what you need to know about Colorado cell phone driving laws from our Colorado car accident attorneys.

Colorado Cell Phone Driving Laws

Colorado cell phone driving laws generally allow adults over 18 to use a cell phone while they drive. Drivers may hold the phone in their hands or talk hands-free. Only minors under the age of 18 are prohibited from talking on a cell phone while they drive. Even though talking on a cell phone is legal in Colorado, it’s always illegal to drive carelessly or recklessly.

All Colorado drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Texting and driving is illegal in the State of Colorado, but to get a ticket from law enforcement, the texting must cause you to drive carelessly or imprudently. There’s an exception for emergencies where a driver needs to text to notify emergency responders of a dangerous situation.

Can You Talk on a Cell Phone While Driving in Colorado?

Yes, you can talk on a cell phone while driving in Colorado. Drivers who are 18 years of age and older may talk on a cell phone while driving in all circumstances. Drivers under the age of 18 may not lawfully drive while talking on a cell phone. The only exception is for emergencies. A driver under the age of 18 may talk on a cell phone while driving to call emergency services like the police or fire department.

Cell Phone and Driving Laws in Colorado – At a Glance

Here are the Colorado cell phone and driving laws at a glance:

  • Talking on the phone – drivers over 18 – Legal in all circumstances
  • Talking on the phone – drivers under 18 – Legal only to notify law enforcement of an emergency
  • Texting – drivers over 18 – Always illegal; ticket issued if texting causes you to drive in a careless or imprudent manner*
  • Texting – drivers under 18 – Always illegal; ticket issued if texting causes you to drive in a careless or imprudent manner*
  • *Enhanced penalties if the violation results in bodily injury to another person

In addition to these charges, a driver may also face charges of careless driving or reckless driving based on the unique circumstances of the offense.

Penalties for Cell Phone Use/Texting While Driving in Colorado – At a Glance

Here are the penalties for cell phone use/texting while driving in Colorado at a glance:

  • Cell phone use (driver under 18) – Class A traffic infraction; $50 fine for a first offense, $100 for a second offense; one point added to the driver’s license
  • Texting while driving (all drivers) – Class 2 traffic misdemeanor; up to 90 days in jail, $300 fine; four demerit points added to the driver’s license
  • Texting while driving resulting in bodily injury (all drivers) – Class 1 traffic misdemeanor; up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 fine, four demerit points added to the driver’s license

Colorado Cell Phone and Driving Law – Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-239

Colorado’s cell phone and driving law is Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-239 [1]. The law says that a person under 18 may not use a wireless telephone (cell phone) while driving a motor vehicle. It also says that a person over 18 may not use a cell phone for texting or manual data entry while driving. The law makes an exception for emergencies.

What Is the Fine for Texting and Driving in Colorado?

The fine for texting and driving in Colorado is $300 for a first offense. The court may set the fine amount, but it must be at least $150 and not more than $300. If the texting and driving results in bodily injury, the fine is up to $1,000. Texting and driving comes with a fine of $300 or $1,000 in addition to license points and possible jail time.

 

Colorado Texting and Driving Laws

Colorado texting and driving laws make it illegal for any motorist to text and drive. Any kind of manual data entry like texting is prohibited for all Colorado drivers. There is an exception for emergency situations like if you text to notify law enforcement or first responders. To receive a ticket for texting and driving, your texting must cause you to drive in a careless or imprudent manner. It’s up to the judge to decide if your driving is careless or imprudent.

Is Colorado a Hands-Free Driving State?

No, Colorado is not a hands-free driving state. To the contrary, it is legal in Colorado to hold a phone and talk on it while driving. Only motorists under the age of 18 are prohibited from talking on a phone while they drive in the State of Colorado. All drivers ages 18 and older may talk on a cell phone using hands-free or by holding the phone in their hands.

Colorado Cell Phone Law 2019

Colorado’s cell phone law 2019 may prohibit all cell phone use among Colorado motorists. The 2019 Colorado cell phone law proposes a complete ban on talking on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle in the State of Colorado.

Colorado Senate bill SB19-012 [2] would completely ban holding an electronic device while driving. If the bill becomes a law, drivers who talk and drive can expect harsh penalties, including fines, license demerit points, and possible jail time.

Contact our Colorado Car Accident Lawyers

Have you been hurt in an accident? Was cell phone use involved in the accident? We’re Colorado’s injury attorneys, and we can help. Our Colorado car accident attorneys know how frustrating it can be when a car accident involves a driver on a cell phone or a driver who is texting.

Let our team evaluate your case and explain how you might qualify to receive financial compensation. Your call is free, and your consultation is always confidential. Call us today to connect immediately with a member of our team.

Sources

[1] C.R.S. 42-4-239  “Misuse of a wireless telephone – definitions – penalty – preemption”

[2] Colorado Senate bill SB19-012

 

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The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
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