Colorado Cell Phone Laws While Driving
Distracted driving is responsible for hundreds of thousands of motor vehicle accidents every year that result in serious injury and sometimes even death. One of the main culprits is cell phone usage while driving. In fact, driving and using a handheld device is the number-one cause of death for teen drivers, with additional hundreds of thousands of teens seriously injured every year. When you are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, it is never a good idea to be doing anything other than paying attention to the road and other drivers.
If you are involved in an accident because of a driver that was on their phone, do you know what your legal rights are? First of all, you should know what Colorado cell phone law is, as it applies to drivers. Senate Bill 19-012, also known as “Use of Electronic Mobile Devices While Driving” was unanimously approved by the Colorado Senate’s Transportation and Energy Committee on February 14, 2019.
In 2017, the Increase Penalty for Texting While Driving Act was signed into law, banning texting while driving in Colorado for those under the age of eighteen and increasing the penalty from $50 to $300 for adults found guilty of distracted driving. The law previously restricted anyone under eighteen from using any mobile device while driving but didn’t impose the same restriction for drivers over eighteen. The new law makes it illegal for anyone, regardless of age, to have a mobile device in their hand while driving unless they come to a complete stop. There is an exception for calls made to contact a public safety entity or during a true emergency, which is defined as any situation in which the following may occur:
- a person has reason to fear for his or her life or safety, or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against him or her or against another person;
- reporting of a fire, serious traffic accident, serious road hazard, or a medical or hazardous materials emergency; or
- reporting of a person who is driving in a reckless, careless, or unsafe manner.
Under any other circumstances, if an officer spots a driver with an electronic device in their hand while driving, that driver will be fined $300 and also receive a penalty of four points on their driver’s license for the first offense. Fines and penalties escalate with additional infractions. Hopefully, this new Colorado cell phone law will deter drivers of all ages from texting and driving, talking and driving, or using any mobile device that can distract them and cause an accident resulting in personal injury to anyone.
If you are injured in an automobile accident where the driver at fault was using a handheld electronic device, you have a right to be compensated for any personal injury or loss. In addition, a texting or cellphone violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction for the driver at fault for the accident. These are complicated legal matters for which you’ll need an experienced, driven personal injury lawyer on your side to protect your legal rights. At Whalen Hersh, our accident attorneys have successfully represented many accident victims over the years, winning millions in personal injury case settlements. We are proud to be one of America’s Top 100 Attorneys, 5280 Top Attorneys in Colorado, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and Super Lawyers. Our Colorado Springs and Denver personal injury lawyers aren’t afraid to take on insurance companies to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
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Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options. You can reach us in Denver at (720) 307-2666 to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys in Denver, CO. Our offices are located in the Denver Tech Center at 7955 East Arapahoe Court, Suite 2375, Centennial, CO 80112, and in Colorado Springs in the Alamo Corporate Center conveniently located at 102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 1100, (719) 644-7000. We look forward to working with you.