What the bill does…
- The bill limits the use of a mobile electronic device while driving to adult drivers who use the mobile electronic device through a hands-free accessory (except smart watches)
- Establishes the following penalties for the respective offenses: $50 and two points for the first violation, $100 and two points for the second violation, $200 and four points for third or subsequent violations, and $300 and four points if the violation involves texting.
What the bill does NOT do…
- Does not prohibit RTD drivers or other professionals from using two-way radio communication devices for their professional duties.
- Does not prohibit the use of original equipment screens and controls which can control a mobile device remotely, such as buttons on a steering wheel.
- Does not preempt the federal law that prohibits commercial drivers from using hand-held mobile telephones and texting while driving commercial vehicles.
Why have more restriction?
- The bill aims to prevent distracted driving related accidents and deaths.
- Nationally 3,116 people died in 2017 due to distracted driving affected crashes.1
- Children and young people between the ages of 15-19, accounted for 23% of distracted drivers who were using cell phones, despite this group only making up of 6% of total drivers.2
- Distracted driving in Colorado caused over 15,000 crashes in 2018.3
Benefits of the additional standard?
Good for public safety – This bill could help prevent the 53 deaths, and 6,269 injuries in Colorado annually as a result of distracted drivers.4 This bill could help deter the behavior of the 90% of the population which engages in distracted driving behavior in Colorado.5 All of these deaths and injuries are preventable, and this bill will help to deter behavior that leads to these types of losses.
Good for Colorado’s economy – Distracted driving leaves quit a toll on drivers in Colorado by causing 43 crashes per day.6 By deterring drivers from this dangerous behavior, Coloradans could save money from costly accidents and higher insurance premiums. The additional revenue generated from the financial penalties of distracted driving will also help fund law enforcement agencies, particularly in small rural areas, to continue to protect and serve Coloradans.7
1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
3 Colorado Department of Transportation
4 Colorado Department of Transportation
5 Colorado Department of Transportation
6 Colorado Department of Transportation
7 Rocky Mountain PBS