Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado supports higher penalties for texting while driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic injuries and fatalities, and is particularly dangerous to bicyclists who commute on busy streets and those who enjoy the beautiful and challenging road riding our state has to offer. A leading cause of distracted driving is texting.

In 2009, Colorado passed legislation outlawing texting while driving in response to a distracted driver who tragically killed a Fort Collins girl who was riding her bike. Unfortunately, the existing penalties for a behavior that can have such high consequences do not seem to be much of a deterrent.

Colorado has some of the lowest texting while driving fines in the U.S. Deaths on Colorado’s roadways jumped about 11 percent in 2016 to 605, a total that includes a 15-year-high number of pedestrians (84) and bicyclists (16) killed. In January, Colorado Department of Transportation executive director Shailen Bhatt blamed the surge in crashes on an “epidemic of distracted driving” (Denver Post).

State Sen. Lois Court and State Rep. Jovan Melton recently introduced legislation to increase Colorado’s penalties for texting while driving. Currently, the fine for texting while driving is $50 and one point assessed against the violator’s driver’s license for a first offense, and a $100 fine and one point assessed against the violator’s driver’s license for a second or subsequent offense. SB-27 increases the penalty to a $500 fine and five points for a first offense and a $750 fine and six points for a second or subsequent offense.

The bill recently passed the senate and moved to the house. If you support higher texting penalties, please contact your state representative to let them know they should support SB-27. We have made it very easy for you–no need to look up your legislator!

All that said, Bicycle Colorado is not anti-car. It’s a myth that bicycling, walking and transit advocates don’t like cars–we’d like to make that very clear. We simply believe that our roads can and should be safer than they are for all users.

Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.

COMMENTS (1)

David Roederer - Reply

Please support SB-27!

Leave A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bicycle Colorado
@BicycleColo

Can't wait for the race to begin tomorrow! #BicycleColorado Educator @chris_winn will be racing as a member of the… https://t.co/RE9Hm0L46z

eNews is out! This week: We've got a special deal for the Rockies' #BiketotheGame Day on 8/26, the Colorado Bicycle… https://t.co/l9b4IzzyMp

The Latest News

  • Jul 27, 2018
  • by Bicycle Colorado
Dockless mobility technology arriving on Denver’s streets

  • Thanks for coming out last night,  @jackiemarie337! #repost #bicyclecolorado
・・・
After years of tears, stubbornness, a little blood, a lot of screaming and a whole bunch of frustration, E is finally riding a bike. Thank you @bicyclecolo for your awesome program and teachers! Can’t wait to take a ride with this kid!
.
.
.
#endobrrewery #bicyclecolorado #bike #biking #endobrewingco #endobrewing #lafayettecolorado #summer
  • We are so excited to officially launch our Bicycle-Friendly Driver and Auto-Friendly Bicyclist programming in the upcoming weeks! With the #roadtozero Innovation Grant we received from the National Safety Council, we’ll be heading to 26 communities around the state to make our roadways safer places to bike, walk and drive!
  • Happy #ColoradoDay! 142 years old never looked so good. Get out and #RideYourBike!