It almost goes without saying: Texting while driving is extremely dangerous. When you’re behind the wheel, using your cell phone for anything that takes your eyes off the road can lead to an accident.
If you are traveling at 55 mph, it only takes 5 seconds to go 100 yards. That can spell disaster for even experienced drivers whose attention is off the road ahead.
If you need yet another reason not to text while driving, consider this: If you are involved in a car accident in Colorado due to texting, you may face not only an expensive citation, but you also could see your car insurance rates go up.
Colorado Texting and Driving Laws
If you are driving in Colorado, texting is prohibited regardless of your age with only one exception, that is, if there is an emergency and you need to reach out to a first responder like the police or fire department.
Colorado is not alone. Today, 46 states and the District of Columbia ban texting for all drivers. If you’re caught doing so, you can be issued a ticket. Colorado texting laws are considered primary laws, which means a police officer can pull you over for no other reason than seeing you texting while driving; no other traffic violations are needed to stop you.
Losing Your License
Colorado uses a point system when you are involved in a traffic violation. With each violation, points are added to your driving record, and you may lose your license if you have too many points. The way the system works is by age:
- Drivers 17 and younger can have their license suspended if they receive 6 points or more within 12 months; or, 7 points of more before the age of 18.
- Drivers ages 18-21 can have their license suspended if they receive 9 points or more within 12 months; 12 points or more within 24 months; or, if they receive 14 points or more before they reach the age of 21.
- Those older than 21 can have their license suspended if they receive 12 points or more within 12 months; or, 18 points or more within 24 months.
Insurance companies operating in states that use the point system take notice if you have points on your record. According to financial publisher bankrate.com, insurers are taking a hard look at distracted-driving incidents, especially for texting. That’s because some see a texting violation as part of a pattern of driving behavior that can lead to a car accident.
Colorado Penalties Are Expensive
A few weeks ago, a Colorado Senate panel cleared a bill that would come down hard on drivers with a first-offense violation of the state’s texting law. Not only would the legislation increase the number of points for a texting violation from 1 to 4, but it also would increase the fine $50 to $300.