There’s a new law on the books here in Colorado that mandates stiffer penalties for people who text and drive. However, there is a section of this law that some people say will undermine public safety. How could a law that makes the price for texting and driving bigger actually put Coloradoans into more danger?
Does the New Texting Law Make It Easier to Text and Drive?
As of June 1st, the new texting fine in our state has been increased to $300. This fine increase would at first seemed to be a stiffening of distracted driving laws in Colorado, but a portion of the same bill is being met with skepticism. That part of the bill allegedly says it is sometimes okay to text and drive.
The bill actually says that in order for a police officer to give a texting driver a ticket they must meet two criteria. First, the officer has to see the driver typing on their phone. Second, the officer must observe careless driving from that driver. So, if police officers see you texting while driving, but don’t see you driving unsafely, then they can’t pull you over. This concerns safety advocates.
They believe that softening the definition of illegal texting may tempt people to continue the bad habit—believing they can still drive safely while texting. Others believe that it could cause problems in court as some texters may decide to question what the officer considers careless driving. This new law also turns texting and driving into a traffic offense, meaning you will have to show up in court instead of simply mailing in your fine. Yet the question still remains, does this new law help or hurt Colorado’s problem with distracted driving?
A message brought to you by the accident attorneys at the Metier Law Firm—looking out for Coloradoans in Fort Collins and beyond.