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

Want to hear us chat about bike tourism and watch cool bike movies? Get your tickets for this virtual film fest wit… https://t.co/QkBpPO0dc0

Thanks for having us, @ColoradoRoux! https://t.co/ap1xE54BEt

  • DON’T DELAY: We’re placing another order for #BicycleColorado masks made by our friends at @primalwear TOMORROW (5/14) at noon! Click the link in our bio to get yours now!
•
•
•
We’re thrilled to see so many people out enjoying (and often rediscovering the joy of) riding a bike right now, and we’re asking ALL bicyclists to do their part to prevent the spread of #covid19 by wearing a mask or other face covering when out for a ride. Doing so keeps you, your loved ones, those around you, and all Coloradans safer while helping reduce stress on our medical system. If you still need a mask, click the link in our bio to pre-order one now and support our advocacy work! Thanks so much to everyone who has already purchased, and to @primalwear for supporting our efforts over the years. Ride on.
  • #BicycleColorado volunteers and staff members spent time today helping @denverurbangardens and @denverfoodrescue deliver “Grow a Garden” food boxes to home-bound families in Denver—via bike! Supporting our community on two wheels makes for a great way to spend a sunny day. Many thanks to our friends @ddchen47, David M., and @juggernautcargo for your help! Head to denverfoodrescue.org or dug.org to learn more about these great local organizations. #rideyourbike
  • Tonight the #BicycleColorado team celebrated Stacey, our outgoing Development Director, with a virtual happy hour. Stacey has been an absolute rockstar for BC. We’re sad to see her leave, but thrilled for her as she heads out on a new adventure (hopefully in the #BikeAdvocacy space!) in North Carolina. Please join us in wishing her well!