7 Somewhat Obscure Colorado Driving Laws
Many states have outdated laws on the books, and Colorado is no exception. Here are 7 obscure laws that apply to the state’s motorists, whether they know it or not:
Cars Not Sold on Sundays
According to the Sunday Closing Law – § 12-6-302, it has been illegal to open or operate a place, premises, or residence for the purpose of “selling, bartering, or exchanging or offering for sale, barter, or exchange any motor vehicle, whether new, used, or secondhand, on the first day of the week commonly called Sunday,” since 1952. However, the law doesn’t apply to businesses that sell petroleum products, tires, or automobile accessories in conjunction with the operation of motor vehicle repair shops or towing or wrecking services.
Driving Through a Yellow Light – On Purpose
Although it might be very difficult to determine the intentions of a driver at an intersection, it is not illegal to deliberately drive through a yellow light in Colorado. However, if you enter the intersection after the light has turned red, you could be cited for running a red light.
Stopping in the Right Place
Of all the unheeded traffic laws in place in Colorado, coming to a stop in the proper place is likely the one that gets broken the most. Stop lines exist on Colorado roads for a reason: they represent the line where you’re supposed to stop at an intersection. However, many drivers either ignore or aren’t aware of stop lines, and instead come to a stop wherever they choose: in the crosswalk, in the path of a pedestrian, or partway into the adjacent roadway.
Wearing Headphones While Driving
Until several years ago, it was illegal to wear headphones (Bluetooth or otherwise) while driving in Colorado under any circumstances, which seemed contradictory since those using hands-free cell phone devices while driving are usually doing so for safety reasons. But in 2015, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed a measure allowing motorists to drive with one earphone connected to a wireless, hand-held phone.
The Three-Second Rule
Following too closely (tailgating) is extremely dangerous, and drivers in Colorado are required to follow the three-second rule (counting one-thousand one, one-thousand two, one-thousand three) before passing a common marker to keep a safe distance from the car immediately in front of them. Although this law tends to invite abuse (who really wants to willingly let someone cut them off!), tailgating is considered a class A traffic infraction in Colorado.
The Left-Lane Law
Staying in the right lane and allowing faster-moving vehicles to pass on the left is not just good manners, it’s the law. In Colorado, you must drive in the right lane unless you are passing, despite the fact that many drivers believe that driving in the left lane is legal, as long as you are traveling the speed limit.
Just hit a parked car? Don’t forget to leave a note.
If you hit a parked car in Colorado and are unable to locate the owner of the vehicle, you are required by law to call the police and leave a note. According to Colorado law:
“A driver who causes damage to an unattended vehicle and who fails to notify the operator of the unattended vehicle and to provide necessary contact information commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.”
Failure to comply with this law could result in a class 2 misdemeanor.
If you’re injured in a Colorado car accident with a negligent driver who may have violated a traffic law, especially an obscure one still on the books, contact an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case.