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.
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.
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.
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.