For over three years, I have been working with Colorado Senator Lois Court to make Colorado’s roads safer through legislation to reduce distracted driving. Thankfully, we’re making tremendous progress and 2019 could be an important year in our fight to end texting-while-driving in Colorado.
(Please see Susan Dane’s article in this issue of Colorado Rider News to get the latest information on our quest.)
Sadly, every time there’s been a hearing on the legislation we’ve proposed, I am the only personal injury attorney in the room. I’m surrounded by the victims and family members of distracted driving accidents, but there has not once been another Colorado personal injury attorney present to support these efforts.
I get it: Distracted drivers cause accidents and accidents are how personal injury attorneys make money. But as a husband and a father, I believe I have a moral obligation to change the trajectory of our state’s acceptance of unsafe driving practices.
I have been advocating for and helping injured motorists, motorcycle riders, pedestrians and bicyclists for over 20 years. Throughout those years, I have helped families recover from the darkest times in their lives. I have tried to console a mother whose 2-year-old son was run over and killed by an inattentive driver in a parking lot while she was holding his hand. I have tried to help dozens of wives, husbands, mothers and fathers deal with the losses of their loved ones who were killed on their motorcycles by careless drivers. I have tried to help injured motorists who were hit by other drivers, whose attention was anywhere but on the road.
In all of those cases, the at-fault driver was charged by the police with Careless and/or Reckless Driving, a rather weak charge. In fact, in 100% of the 1700 cases that I have worked on, the at-fault driver was charged with Careless and/or Reckless Driving.
Why do the police charge the driver with Careless and/or Reckless Driving? Speaking as a former prosecutor for the City of Northglenn, it is because a police officer arrives on the scene after the fact and pieces together the evidence and witness statements to determine fault. Simply put, this is the highest traffic violation that the driver can be charged with, short of a DUI or a Careless Driving Resulting in Death charge.
The reason that I have worked for three years to help get a hands-free driving law passed is a personal, not financial, reason. I have seen too much for too long and I want to help prevent the needless, daily destruction of lives on our roads. I want to make the roads safer for my wife and our two boys, and for the motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian communities in Colorado.
Additionally, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on a first-and-only of its kind, interactive accident map for Denver, which is free for all to use, so that people in Denver can make smart choices about how to travel safely on our roads.
My goal in helping pass a hands-free driving bill is to decrease fatalities and injuries on the road. As demonstrated in other states with similar laws, this bill will make our roads safer. As a direct result, there will be fewer collisions and therefore fewer potential clients for my firm (and for other personal injury attorneys, who are not happy with how hard I’m fighting for this bill). But clearly it is the right thing to do.
As this law proceeds through the Colorado legislature – and I hope it goes all the way — I will probably remain the only personal injury attorney in the room. In a way, that fuels my passion even more.
Let’s make Colorado’s roads safe for all!
Rider Justice is sponsoring and attending tons of events this summer and would love to see you! Book these dates and join us for a great summer! We’re sharing as much information as we can below, but some details are still TBD. Watch our website and Colorado Rider News for more information.
- April 6: Accident Scene Management Training — Rider Justice is subsidizing the cost of this class to get this vital rescue training to more riders. The regular cost of the class is $85 — this event will only cost participants $35. See our Facebook event for location and registration details or our website: www.RiderJustice.com
- May 18: BikerDown’s Look Twice Save a Life Ride and the big Rider Justice launch party, Dirty Dogs Roadhouse
- May 25: Spring Patio Party, Dirty Dogs Roadhouse
- June 1: Brotherhood of Veterans and Pacman’s 60th Birthday Party, Dirty Dogs Roadhouse