Colorado defines distracted driving as any action you perform inside of your vehicle that takes your attention away from driving.
These distractions include:
- Cell phones
- Eating or drinking
Drivers who are under the age of 18 are not permitted to use a cell phone while driving. There are exceptions to this which include reporting an emergency situation or when the vehicle is parked when using the cell phone.
In the State of Colorado, it is illegal for drivers of all ages to text while driving. There are designated parking areas that drivers are allowed to use their cell phone in. In addition, the shoulder lane is an acceptable place for people to pull over and use their cell phone according to the DMV of Colorado. This includes both calling and texting.
There are certain exceptions to using a cell phone while driving a vehicle in the State of Colorado. These exceptions include both making a phone call and texting.
- You fear for your safety or for your life
- You have witnessed a criminal act or think one may be occurring
- Calling to report a car accident, fire, medical incident, road hazard, or hazardous material
- Report a careless or reckless driver
- The first offense is a $50 fine
- The second and subsequent fines are $100
A police officer can pull you over for violation of the laws above and no other reason. The fines may be imposed, but additional penalties may be applied. Therefore, the total cost of you texting and driving may be more than $50 or $100.
In the State of Colorado, 24.4 percent of the 203,827 car accidents in 2013 were caused by distracted drivers. Furthermore, between the years of 2008 and 2013, there has been an increase of nine percent in the automobile accidents that are caused by distracted driving. Law enforcement does keep an eye out for motorists who text and drive as the Colorado Department of Transportation is working to reduce the number of accidents due to distracted driving.
Drivers who are under the age of 18 are not permitted to use a cell phone at all, unless it is in an emergency situation. In addition, it is illegal for people of all ages to text and drive. This is important to keep in mind for your safety when you are driving in Colorado.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Colorado and was authored by Valerie Johnston.