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E5417455F2F60A0D8725821F0070E228 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For SB18-049

SENATE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS, & MILITARY AFFAIRS
Date Jan 24, 2018      
Location SCR 357



SB18-049 - Postponed Indefinitely


01:33:01 PM  
Senator Court, sponsor, presented Senate Bill 18-049 to the committee. The bill makes driving while using an electronic mobile device a class 2 misdemeanor unless the driver is over the age of 18 and using a hands-free device. It also increases the fine for minors in violation from $50 to $300.
01:35:58 PM  

Jeff Holt, representing ABATE of Colorado and Bikers United for America, testified in support of the bill. He described incidents where drivers endangered him while he rode his motorcycle.

01:38:45 PM  
Dennis Haberstumpf, representing ABATE of Colorado, testified in support of the bill. He stated that the bill would help reduce distracted driving, and he noted the importance of this for motorcyclists.
01:40:26 PM  

Susan Dane, representing Coloradans Organized for Responsible Driving (CORD), testified in support of the bill. She discussed distracted driving deaths in Colorado and nationally.

Committee members commented on the bill.

Ms. Dane also noted her individual support of the Senate Bill 18-053, concerning the citation of drivers for the failure of one or more vehicle occupants to wear a safety belt, and she noted statistics on the safety benefits of wearing a seat belt.

01:44:16 PM  
Ted Heyd, representing Bicycle Colorado, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the dangers bicyclists face as a result of distracted driving.
01:47:32 PM  

Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the impact of distracted driving on traffic accidents and fatalities in Colorado.

Chief Packard also testified in support of SB 18-053. He explained that it is difficult for state troopers to determine whether a particular seat belt violation is a primary violation, which leads them to choose not to pull over violators.

01:56:24 PM  
Chris Satriano, representing Bike Blue, testified in support of the bill. He discussed his organization's work and talked about the popularity of bicycling in Colorado.
01:59:59 PM  
Chief Packard responded to a committee member question about primary seat belt offenses.

He also responded to a committee member question about law enforcement's use of handheld devices and their exemption under SB 18-049.

02:04:48 PM  
Alex Logemann, representing People for Bikes, testified in support of the bill. He described his organization and explained that bike riders are particularly susceptible to the dangers of distracted driving.
02:06:52 PM  

Lori Taggart, representing CORD, testified in support of the bill.

02:10:45 PM  
Laurie Easton-Montoya, representing Biker Down, testified in support of the bill. She discussed her organization's efforts to make motorcycling safer. She described methods to make mobile phones hands free, even in older cars.
02:14:34 PM  
Scott O'Sullivan, representing Biker Down, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the costs of distracted driving accidents from his experience as a personal injury lawyer. He also noted his support for SB 18-053.
02:18:20 PM  
Andy Karsian, representing the Colorado Department of Transportation, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the laws in other states addressing texting while driving and the use of handheld devices. He added that teenagers in particular need to learn about the dangers of distracted driving.
02:20:40 PM  

Dan Jablan, representing the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, testified in support of the bill and SB 18-053. He discussed the cost of insurance claims, particularly when seat belts are not worn.

02:22:53 PM  
Mr. Karsian responded to a committee member question about other sources of driver distraction besides mobile devices.

Mr. O'Sullivan responded to a question about how mobile phones cause distractions while driving and about how existing law is used to prosecute drivers who text and get into accidents.

02:27:15 PM  

Brian Froid, representing himself and Drive Smart Colorado, testified in support of the bill and also SB 18-053. He told the committee about his daughter and son-in-law's death in a car accident when they were not wearing their seat belts.

02:33:41 PM  

Cheryl Froid, representing herself and Drive Smart Colorado, testified in support of SB 18-053. She continued her husband's story about their daughter's death and its impact on her family.

02:36:57 PM  

Skyler McKinley, representing AAA Colorado, testified in support of the bill. He explained his organization's position that distracted driving violations should be treated comparably to other moving violations under the law. He responded to committee member questions.

Mr. McKinley also testified in support of SB18-053. He discussed the effect of primary seat belt laws in the 34 states that have them. He noted that the bill would result in cost savings for individuals and the state.

02:47:51 PM  

Gary Peterson, representing Bike Blue, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the importance of safe driving for bicyclists as well as drivers.

02:51:32 PM  
Kirk Fry, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. He suggested that the bill should assess points for offenders. He also commented on SB 18-053.
02:55:03 PM  

Vivian Stovall, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She described several accidents she had been involved in where the driver was distracted. She also noted her support for SB18-053.

03:00:18 PM  
Senator Court wrapped up her presentation of the bill. She provided committee members two letters in support of the bill [Attachments A and B]. She responded to comments raised earlier in the hearing.
03:06:23 PM  
Committee members commented on the bill.


03:12:11 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 18-049 to the Committee on Finance.
Moved Court
Seconded
Court Yes
Fenberg Yes
Hill No
Sonnenberg No
Marble No
YES: 2   NO: 3   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL


03:13:34 PM
Motion Postpone Senate Bill 18-049 indefinitely.
Moved Sonnenberg
Seconded
Court No
Fenberg No
Hill Yes
Sonnenberg Yes
Marble Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS






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