Texting while driving is known be the cause of serious accidents. There have been several marketing campaigns against it, and several states are taking firm stances on the matter. Distracted driving, especially involving phone usage puts a person at risk for harm to themselves, and anyone else around them. Distracted driving can cause injury, property damage, and more in the event of an accident. Much of the time, the law sets explicit guidelines on how a person may make use of their phone while behind the wheel. In Georgia, for instance, a ticket for texting and driving can cost $150. This serves as a deterrent for anyone who would use their phone behind the wheel. In Colorado, however, state lawmakers have recently approved a much more lenient stance on the act of texting while driving.
Texting and Driving Laws in Colorado Get a Lenient Change
Colorado's new texting and driving laws carry stiff fines, but they take a softer stance on texting and driving. According to a local news report from the state, the new law has language in it that only forbids some instances of texting while driving, but not all. While the fines and punishments for texting while driving has been increased, the new law gives space for certain instances to text and drive. According to the law, if a person is texting and driving in a "careless or imprudent manner" then they will suffer a hefty fine of $300 and 4 points on their driver's license.
This means that drivers who are on the road texting but not in a "Careless or imprudent manner" have leeway, and are technically likely not in violation of the law if their excuse holds true in court. Prior to the new legislation, all texting and driving within the state was illegal. The "careless" factor is up to the individual opinion of the law enforcement officer; however, the law provides room for defense. The law only applies to individuals over the age of 18. For juvenile drivers, any texting while driving remains illegal in all cases.
What Might This Mean For Colorado Drivers?
Although certain instances of texting while driving can technically be considered "legal" in the state of Colorado, it is highly unlikely that any texting while driving that causes an accident can be defensible in court. If a person were to cause an accident, the criminal act brought by the state to put points on a person's license and punish them with fines does not dictate what will happen in a civil action. This means that even if a person that causes an accident that would be "legally" texting and driving, may likely still be held civilly liable for the damage they have caused. This is because the standard in Georgia and most states is that drivers must use "ordinary care" or "reasonable care" and it is very unlikely that texting while operating a vehicle can be considered reasonable in almost any circumstances.