According to AAA polls, 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway. Texting while driving has become an epidemic, and Colorado has reinforced texting laws with the hopes of seeing the numbers in this worldwide problem go down.
Police have been working to keep drivers safe by enforcing the new laws Colorado introduced in January 2017 and finalized as of May 1st this year. The new law is known as the Senate Bill 27 which punishes first time texting drivers by charging them $500 dollars and tacking 5 points onto their driving licence instead of charging them $50 which was the old price.
These points show the number of criminal offenses a person has committed, and is known as the DMV point system. Depending on the crime committed, the points received may vary in amounts. The more major the crime, the more points the offender receives, and vise-versa.
If someone continues to break this safety law, the amount they’re charged is raised, and they receive more points on their driver’s licence. In Colorado, the DMV point system allows Coloradans-based on their age-to receive up to a certain number of points before their licence is suspended. Minors younger than 18 can earn up to 6 points or more within 12 months before their licence would be suspended.
Colorado is one of at least 46 states that ban text messaging for all drivers, according to the Denver-based bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. There are only two states that don’t have text messaging bans, and two more states that don’t ban text messaging for all drivers.
According to personalinjurysandiego.org, every year in the U.S., almost half a million people are injured or killed in traffic accidents attributed to texting while driving. Colorado’s new texting laws will hopefully scare drivers into following the law. With the first offence price of $500 to pay, there should now be no reason you would ever want to pick up your phone while behind the wheel.
Sara Kinnersley, Staff Reporter