DENVER – A bill that would make it illegal for all drivers in Colorado to use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving advances out of a state Senate committee.
The Senate Transportation & Energy Committee unanimously approved SB19-012 Thursday. It now moves to the Committee on Appropriations.
Current law makes it illegal for drivers younger than 18 to use wireless phones. The proposed bill would extend that to all drivers, and include all mobile electronic devices.
A law enforcement officer would have to witness the use of the device while driving in order to issue a citation. Emergency personnel and HAM radio operators are exempt.
The proposal would also set penalties at $300 and 4 points for a first violation, $500 and 6 points for a second violation, and $750 and 8 points for a third. (see below for an explanation of the point system)
The legislation does include an exception for drivers who are calling for emergency help, or using a hands-free accessory. It also repeals a sentence enhancement for a violation that causes bodily injury or death.
Law enforcement will not have the power to seize your mobile electronic device if they witness a violation.
A driver 17 years old and under will have their license suspended if they accrue:
- 6 or more points in a 12 month period
- 7 or more points at any time
- 9 or more points within a 12 month period
- 12 or more points within a 24 month period
- 14 or more at any time
- 12 points or more within a 12 month period
- 18 or more within a 24 month period