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Second Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 980033.01 DHG
HOUSE BILL 981061
STATE OF COLORADO
BY REPRESENTATIVE Arrington
TRANSPORTATION & ENERGY
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING DISCOURAGING THE NEGLIGENT USE OF MOBILE
COMMUNICATION DEVICES WHILE DRIVING.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments that may be subsequently
Declares that the use of cellular telephones while driving has been identified as a risk factor and that drivers who choose to use a cellular phone in their car should do so only when road and traffic conditions allow them to do so safely. Creates a "secondary" traffic offense (analogous to the failure to wear a seat belt) for negligent use of a cellular phone while driving. Creates a rebuttable presumption of negligence in such cases for purposes of assigning civil liability resulting from an accident.
Requires the assessment of 4 license suspension points
against a driver when an accident occurred and the driver was
negligently using a mobile communication device at the time of
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. Legislative declaration. The general assembly finds, determines, and declares that the use of cellular telephones and other mobile communication devices while driving has been identified as a public safety risk factor. While such devices offer great convenience and can save a great deal of time, the general assembly wishes to encourage a commonsense view toward their use by drivers. This legislation is intended to encourage drivers to use such devices only when road and traffic conditions are such that it is safe to do so.
SECTION 2. Part 2 of article 4 of title 42, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:
424238. Use of cellular telephones and other mobile communication devices. (1) AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "MOBILE COMMUNICATION DEVICE" MEANS A CELLULAR TELEPHONE OR OTHER DEVICE THAT ENABLES A PERSON IN A MOTOR VEHICLE TO TRANSMIT AND RECEIVE AUDIO SIGNALS TO AND FROM A PERSON NOT IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE. THE TERM DOES NOT INCLUDE A DEVICE SUCH AS AN INDASH RADIO RECEIVER OR COMPACT DISC PLAYER THAT LACKS THE CAPACITY TO TRANSMIT RADIO FREQUENCY (RF) SIGNALS.
(2) NO PERSON SHALL USE A MOBILE COMMUNICATION DEVICE WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE EXCEPT UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH SUCH USE DOES NOT SIGNIFICANTLY DISTRACT SUCH PERSON FROM PERFORMING THE PRIMARY FUNCTIONS INVOLVED IN OPERATING THE VEHICLE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, RESPONDING TO ROAD HAZARDS AND INTERFERENCE BY OTHER VEHICLES, OBSERVING IMPORTANT VISUAL AND AUDITORY CUES SUCH AS EMERGENCY SIRENS, TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES, AND SIGNAL LAMPS AND DEVICES OF OTHER VEHICLES, AND MAINTAINING A REASONABLE AND PRUDENT SPEED.
(3) SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO A FIREFIGHTER, A MEMBER OF AN AMBULANCE TEAM, OR A PEACE OFFICER, LEVEL I, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 181901 (3) (l) (I), C.R.S., WHILE PERFORMING OFFICIAL DUTIES SO LONG AS THE PERFORMANCE OF SAID DUTIES IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH RULES AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO SUCH PERSONS.
(4) ANY PERSON WHO OPERATES A MOTOR VEHICLE IN VIOLATION OF SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION COMMITS A CLASS B TRAFFIC INFRACTION. PENALTIES COLLECTED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION (4) SHALL BE TRANSMITTED TO THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 421217 (1) (e) AND (2).
(5) NO OPERATOR OF A MOTOR VEHICLE SHALL BE CITED FOR A VIOLATION OF SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION UNLESS SUCH OPERATOR WAS STOPPED BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER FOR AN ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 1 TO 4 OF THIS TITLE OTHER THAN A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION.
(6) TESTIMONY AT A TRIAL FOR A VIOLATION CHARGED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (4) OF THIS SECTION MAY INCLUDE TESTIMONY BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER THAT THE OFFICER OBSERVED THE PERSON CHARGED OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE SAID OPERATOR WAS IN VIOLATION OF SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION.
(7) EVIDENCE OF VIOLATION OF SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION SHALL CREATE A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION OF NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE VIOLATOR WITH RESPECT TO ANY PERSON WHO WAS INVOLVED IN A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT AND WHO SEEKS IN ANY SUBSEQUENT LITIGATION TO RECOVER DAMAGES FOR INJURIES RESULTING FROM THE ACCIDENT.
SECTION 3. 421217 (1) (e) and (2), Colorado Revised Statutes, are amended to read:
421217. Disposition of fines and surcharges. (1) All judges, clerks of a court of record, or other officers imposing or receiving fines, penalties, or forfeitures, except those moneys received pursuant to sections 424313 (3), 424413, 4241701 (5) (a), 428105, and 428106, collected pursuant to or as a result of a conviction of any persons for a violation of any of the provisions of articles 1 to 4 (except part 3 of article 2) of this title, shall transmit, within ten days from the date of receipt of any such fine, penalty, or forfeiture, all such moneys so collected in the following manner:
(e) Any fine, penalty, or forfeiture collected for a violation of section 424237 OR 424238 shall be transmitted to the treasurer of the local jurisdiction in which the violation occurred; except that, if the citing officer was an officer of the Colorado state patrol, the fine, penalty, or forfeiture shall be transmitted to the state treasurer and credited to the highway users tax fund.
(2) Except for the first fifty cents of any penalty for a traffic infraction which shall be retained by the department and used for administrative purposes, moneys collected by the department pursuant to the provisions of section 4241701 (5) (a) shall be transmitted to the state treasurer, who shall credit the same to the highway users tax fund; except that moneys collected pursuant to said section for a violation of section 424237 OR 424238 shall only be transmitted to the state treasurer if the citing officer was an officer of the Colorado state patrol and in all other cases shall be transmitted to the treasurer of the local jurisdiction in which the violation occurred.
SECTION 4. 422127 (5) (e), Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
422127. Authority to suspend license to deny license type of conviction points. (5) Point system schedule:
Type of conviction Points
(e) (I) Careless driving 4
(II) DRIVING WHILE IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 424238 WHEN AN ACCIDENT OCCURRED 4
SECTION 5. Effective date applicability. (1) This act shall take effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninetyday period after final adjournment of the general assembly that is allowed for submitting a referendum petition pursuant to article V, section 1 (3) of the state constitution; except that, if a referendum petition is filed against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part, if approved by the people, shall take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor.
(2) The provisions of this act shall apply to acts committed on or after the applicable effective date of this act.