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Cellphones while driving: A deadly combination on the rise in 2018

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and one type of distraction in particular bears repeated focus: cellphone use behind the wheel.

Cellphones have changed the culture of society. They've led to massive shifts in not only how we interact with others, but also how we behave behind the wheel. Traffic safety has become the foremost casualty of increasing cellphone use.

Violent crimes: Ex-boyfriend accused of shooting new boyfriend

Convictions on criminal charges can lead to many years of incarceration, along with a criminal record and other consequences that can have a severely negative impact on the individuals. However, the laws in Colorado adhere to the presumption of innocence, and the burden is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This will also be the case for a recently arrested man who is accused of violent crimes.

According to court documents, the arrest took place after a 31-year-old man, who is suspected of shooting another man, tried to flee from police when they arrived at a home to arrest him. Officers say they received information on his whereabouts and went to that address after a 28-year-old man received treatment for gunshot wounds in his leg. His affidavit states that his injuries were life-threatening and there is a risk of disfigurement.

Reconstructing bicycle accidents: What experts look for

Collisions between cars and cyclists rarely end well for the latter. Investigating these accidents involves different challenges than car vs. car collisions. In many ways, it can be more difficult to determine what happened. The vast size differential between cars and bikes makes it harder to retrace the bicycle's movements leading up to the collision. Reconstructing these accidents may require digging deep to uncover all relevant evidence.

Auto-pedestrian accidents are too often blamed on the victims

Pedestrians and cyclists who are injured in road accidents are often made out to be the ones to blame for whatever happened. Colorado pedestrians must not feel intimidated by the way the media, and sometimes law enforcement, seems to use language that clears all vehicle operators and declares that no auto\-pedestrian accidents will happen if pedestrians follow the rules. Almost every report that involves a pedestrian or cyclist points out some level of contributory negligence by them.

Examples of this tendency to blame the victim are evident in various printed and online media reports and even in police reports. Typical comments include someone who darted into the traffic, wore dark clothing, texted while walking, jaywalked, cycled without a helmet and more. In many cases, a helmet would have provided no protection against a cyclist's fatal or catastrophic injuries; however, the news report will focus on the fact that the deceased cyclist failed to wear a helmet rather than what the vehicle operator did that might have caused the collision.

Be aware of distracted driving habits

The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. While it is good to be aware of the toll taken by distracted drivers, it is also important to be aware of the role each of us plays in preventing these accidents. Distracted driving is a growing problem. The nation's driving habits are, if anything, getting worse even as the laws grow tougher.

The obvious culprit

Criminal law: 18-year-old will face murder charges as an adult

A district court judge recently denied a request to try a Colorado teenager who is facing murder charges as a juvenile. Under criminal law in Colorado, anyone who accused of serious crimes such as murder before he or she turned 18 could be charged as an adult. This teen was one of two 17-year-olds arrested and charged with murder last May. Both have turned 18 since then, and both will face the charges as adults.

There are 11 criteria that judges must evaluate under Colorado law to determine whether the case should be heard in juvenile court. These include the type and seriousness of the alleged offense along with the type of violence involved and whether premeditation is claimed. The judge must also consider the potential rehabilitation of the youth and the interest of the community.

Motorcycle accidents: Fatal crash kills rider, injures passenger

Traveling on Colorado roads can be hazardous. Any crash can have devastating consequences, but chances of catastrophic or fatal injuries are higher in car vs. motorcycle accidents. While occupants of passenger cars have seat belts, airbags and the body of the car as protection, motorcyclists have no protection against the impact of a collision.

Highway 160 was closed for several hours on a recent Saturday following a fatal crash. According to the state patrol, a 75-year-old driver of a westbound SUV made a left turn without yielding for an oncoming motorcycle. She allegedly put her vehicle directly into the path of a Harley Davidson.

Self-driving vehicle kills pedestrian in Arizona

Sadly, it finally happened. A self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in mid-March in Arizona. We can only speculate about what’s going to happen: Technology’s image is expected to take a big public relations hit, while state and federal lawmakers likely will take a much more seriously look at additional regulations pertaining to self-driving vehicles.

The fatal accident occurred at night when an Uber self-driving sport utility vehicle (SUV) struck a woman who was walking her bicycle across the street. The vehicle was being tested on the road and had a test driver behind the wheel.

Drug charges filed against suspected marijuana smugglers

The drug task force of Weld County has been investigating a ring of marijuana smugglers for some time and reported more arrests. Some of those arrested already got court dates for drug charges, while others are waiting to be charged. Colorado authorities say the latest four arrests took place on a recent Wednesday evening.

The arrested individuals are all alleged members of a smuggling ring that is active in Greeley, Windsor and Frederick. It is suspected that several residences are rented for the cultivation of marijuana, which is then distributed in Colorado and other states. Reportedly, six search warrants were executed, yielding more than 3,300 marijuana plants and 460 pounds of marijuana ready for distribution.

Knowing how motorcycle crashes happen can keep you safe

The physics of a motorcycle accident are unique. Motorcycle accidents are often more violent, and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration says that over 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in death or serious injury,

One of the main reasons that motorcycle accidents can lead to such significant injuries is the fact that motorcycle riders do not have the protection of a vehicle such as roofs, side beams, and bumpers and often involves the rider being thrown from their vehicle onto the road or into objects. Additionally, motorcycle riders do not have the benefit of the safety features that come standard on many vehicles such as seatbelts, airbags, and impact absorbing zones. 

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