Colorado’s Cellphone-Use & Texting-While-Driving Laws

Read about Colorado’s distracted driving laws and the costs of a violation.

Colorado’s distracted driving laws prohibit text messaging for all drivers and talking on a cellphone for only certain drivers. This article discusses the specifics of what the laws prohibit and the costs of a texting or cellphone ticket.

Talking on a Cellphone

For most Colorado motorists, there are no restrictions on talking on a cellphone while driving.

However, for motorists who are under the age of 18, Colorado law prohibits using a cellphone while operating a vehicle. Notably, there’s no exception for hands-free or voice-operated technologies.

Exceptions. The underage cellphone ban doesn’t apply to calls made to contact a public safety entity or during an emergency.

Fines and points for violations. An underage cellphone ticket is a class A traffic infraction and costs $50 for a first offense and $100 for a second or subsequent offense. The violation will also add one demerit point to the motorist’s driving record.

Texting Messaging

For all Colorado drivers, it’s illegal to use a wireless telephone for text messaging (or other similar forms of manual data entry or transmission) while operating a motor vehicle. However, police are allowed to cite motorists for texting only if the violation caused the motorist to drive in a “careless and imprudent” manner.

Exceptions. The texting ban doesn’t apply to using a wireless telephone to contact a public safety entity or during an emergency.

Fines and points. Generally, a texting ticket is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense and costs $300. However, texting violations that lead to bodily injury or the death of another person are class 1 misdemeanors and carry ten days to one year in jail and/or $300 to $1,000 in fines. A texting violation will also add four demerit points to the motorist’s driving record.

Other Possible Charges

Depending on the circumstances, a texting or cellphone violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these violations results in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.

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