Colorado Cell Phone & Texting and Driving Laws

Except for novice drivers, there is no prohibition on cell phone use while driving in Colorado. All drivers are prohibited form texting while driving.

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Cell Phone Use

Novice drivers in Colorado - drivers younger than 18 – are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving. The exceptions for novice drivers are:

  • reporting a fire
  • reporting a traffic accident in which one or more injuries are apparent
  • reporting a serious road hazard
  • reporting a medical or hazardous materials emergency
  • reporting a person who is driving in a reckless, careless, or otherwise unsafe manner.

Texting Laws

All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Colorado's texting bill prohibits use of a wireless telephone for texting except for "emergencies." A wireless telephone is defined as, "a telephone that operates without a physical, wireline connection to the provider's equipment" and includes cellular and mobile telephones. An emergency is defined as a situation in which the person texting "has reason to fear for such person's life or safety or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against such person or another person" or someone who is reporting "a fire, a traffic accident in which one or more injuries are apparent, a serious road hazard, a medical or hazardous materials emergency, or a person who is driving in a reckless, careless, or otherwise unsafe manner." To be convicted of a violation of the law, a law enforcement officer must see the person texting. 

Bus Drivers

There is no cell phone prohibition for Colorado bus drivers.

How is it Enforced?

According to the law the fines will be as follows: $50.00 fine plus a $6.00 surcharge for a First Offense $100.00 fine plus a $6.00 surcharge for a Second Offense. Colorado’s cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. That is, the officer sees you texting and issues a citation. Read more about Colorado’s distracted driving laws.

Other Colorado Driving Law Information

Follow the links below to get additional information surrounding Colorado driving laws on this website.

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