COLORADO NEWS

Effective date and enforcement of Colorado’s new law prohibiting cellphone use while driving

May 23, 2024, 6:38 AM | Updated: 1:08 pm

Colorado Senate Bill 65 will prohibit all drivers from talking on their cell phones while driving when the law goes into effect as Governor Jared Polis has declared he will sign it into law, as reported in The Colorado Sun. There are some exceptions, however.

The key exception – allowing driver to still talk on their phones while the vehicle is moving – is the use of hands free accessories.

But, we still have more than half a year before seeing this law go into effect, which will be Jan 1, 2025.

There are requirements, though, for police to pull over a driver under this new law.

  • A law enforcement officer has to see them using the phone in a “manner that caused the individual to drive in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances.”
  • Additionally, an officer must observe the phone either in the driver’s hand or held against their ear to issue a citation.

There are exceptions to the law.

  • Calling first responders under an emergency situation will be exempt from the law.
  • Using the device for navigation purposes will not be considered cause for a citation.
  • Using the phone’s dictation or transcription function will be excepted.
  • Utility workers (including contractors of utilities), first responders, and municipal or county employees are exempt if they are using a phone while driving in the course of their official responsibilities

A citation will cost your pocket book and points on your license.

If you are caught driving while using a cellphone under the violating terms of the law, you will face a $75 fine and two points against your license if it is the first time being issued a citation for the infraction.

The fine can be waived once if the driver provides a hands-free accessory or proof of purchase for a hands-free accessory.

A second citation within a two-year period results in a $150 fine and three points on the driver’s record. This increases to a $250 fine and four points for a third or subsequent citation within the same period. For context, speeding 10 to 19 miles per hour over the limit incurs a four-point violation.

Also of note: if a driver is using a cellphone is the “proximate cause” of a crash resulting in injury or death, the driver can be charged with a Class 1 traffic misdemeanor. This offense is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

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Effective date and enforcement of Colorado’s new law prohibiting cellphone use while driving