Distracted driving is a dangerous public safety concern for all of us. In Colorado, distracted driving causes 40 crashes each day across the state. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 4,000 people die each year on the roadways as a result of distracted driving crashes in the United States.
Distractions in the car can happen to any driver. Things like your radio, other passengers or your cellphone all take your attention from the road. Distracted driving is entirely preventable and while most know it’s dangerous, they do it anyway. According to an article in the Denver post, cell phone use contributes to a higher rate of car accidents and it’s eight times more likely that drivers using a phone will be involved in a crash.
Proposed changes to cell phone law
A Colorado lawmaker is proposing a change to Colorado law that would make it illegal to use a hand-held phone for voice calls while driving. If the legislation passes, a fine for a first-time offense would be $300, and the second offense $500. Hands-free cell phone or device use would still be legal for voice calls.
This would be an expansion to the current cell phone law which only limits minors (those under 18) from using hand-held electronic devices while driving for phone calls, texting or other similar uses. Texting behind the wheel is illegal in Colorado for drivers of any age and the fine for being caught in violation starts at $300. By making cell phone use illegal, the lawmaker, Lois Clark, is hoping to encourage safe driving habits and increase public safety.
Put the phone down
We can all play a part in decreasing distracted driving crashes by putting the phone aside. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Transportation recommends the use and installation of phone apps to limit and discourage phone use while your car is moving.