Current law prohibits an individual who is under 18 years of age from using a mobile electronic device when driving. The bill applies the prohibition to an individual who is 18 years of age or older unless the individual is using a hands-free accessory. The following uses are exempted:
- By an individual reporting an emergency to state or local authorities;
- By an employee or contractor of a utility when responding to a utility emergency;
- By a first responder; or
- By an individual in a motor vehicle that is parked.
The penalties for a violation are:
- For a first offense, $75 and 2 license suspension points;
- For a second offense within 24 months, $150 and 3 license suspension points; and
- For a third or subsequent offense within 24 months, $250 and 4 license suspension points.
A violation will be dismissed if the individual 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 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.
The executive director of the department of transportation, in consultation with the chief of the Colorado state patrol, is required to create a campaign raising public awareness of the requirements of the bill and of the dangers of using mobile electronic devices when driving.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)