Colorado may soon follow 20 other states in prohibiting hand-held phone use while driving.
The proposed legislation would make it illegal for adults to use a mobile device while driving, except through the use of hands-free equipment. It also would bar drivers under 18 years old from using any mobile devices. Colorado already bans texting while driving.
“It’s a pretty common-sense measure to make our roads safer,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts, who is sponsoring the bill. He said his constituents want legislators to act on this issue to cut down on crashes.
Just more than half of Coloradans admitted talking on a hand-held phone while driving, according to a 2017 state Department of Transportation survey.
Colorado lawmakers are determined to make roads safer, with fines for phone use while driving starting at $50 for the first offense and up to $300 if the violation involves texting.
Roberts pointed to successes other states have had with similar legislation. “My colleagues agree that the roads need to be safer, and I’m hoping to resolve any concerns to move this bill forward.”
Last year, a Senate bill proposing the same restrictions on handheld devices while driving but allowing hands-free accessories failed to pass. Roberts is determined to get bipartisan support for this measure to keep Colorado residents safe, but also to accomplish a main goal of Sen. Lois Court, who announced last week that she is stepping down due to a rare illness.
“This bill was her career-long passion,” said Roberts. “It’s unfortunate that she won’t be able to see it through.”
This story has been updated to clarify that texting while driving is already illegal in Colorado.
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