Current law prohibits a person who is under 18 years of age from using a mobile electronic device when driving. The bill applies the prohibition to a person who is 18 years of age or older unless the person is using a hands-free accessory. The following uses are exempted:
- By a person reporting an emergency to state or local authorities;
- By an employee or contractor of a utility services provider when responding to a utility emergency;
- By a person operating a commercial truck when using a mobile data terminal that transmits and receives data;
- By a first responder; or
- By a person in a motor vehicle that is
The penalties for a violation are:
- For a first offense,
$150$75 and 2 license suspension points;
- For a second offense within 24 months,
$250$150 and 3 license suspension points; and
- For a third or subsequent offense within 24 months,
$500$250 and 4 license suspension points. It is an affirmative defense to a The violation will be dismissed if the defendant has not previously committed a violation, produces proof of purchase of a hands-free accessory, and affirms, under penalty of perjury, that the defendant has not previously claimed this affirmative defense option to dismiss .
Current law requires a peace officer who makes a traffic stop to record the demographic information of the violator, whether a citation has been issued, and the violation cited. The bill clarifies that the peace officer must record whether the bill has been violated.
A peace officer is prohibited from stopping a driver or issuing a citation for a violation of the bill unless the officer visually observes the operator using, holding, or physically supporting with any part of the person's body the mobile electronic device.
The executive director of the department of transportation, in consultation with the chief of the Colorado state patrol, will create a campaign raising public awareness of the requirements of the bill and of the dangers of using mobile electronic devices when driving.
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)