Colorado's distracted driving laws prohibit text messaging for all drivers and talking on a cell phone for only certain drivers. This article discusses the specifics of what the laws prohibit and the costs of a texting or cell phone ticket.
Colorado's distracted driving law contains restrictions on cell phone use and texting while driving. Some of the restrictions vary depending on the age of the driver.
Colorado's distracted driving law makes it illegal for all drivers 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.
The texting ban doesn't apply to using a wireless telephone to contact a public safety entity or during an emergency.
For most Colorado motorists, there are no restrictions on talking on a cell phone while driving.
However, for motorists who are under the age of 18, Colorado law prohibits using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. Notably, there's no exception for hands-free or voice-operated technologies.
The underage cell phone ban doesn't apply to calls made to contact a public safety entity or during an emergency.
The penalties for a distracted driving ticket depend on the circumstances, including the driver's history and whether the violation involved injuries or deaths.
Injuries and deaths. 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. The driver will also be looking at four traffic violation demerit points for the ticket.
An underage cell phone 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.