Over the last few years, there has been a major struggle in the Colorado legislature that revolves around the use of cell phones while driving. 

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There have been multiple attempts to limit cell phone use over the years, with the most recent proposal coming in 2022. That bill in particular made it past the Senate, but was not able to get past Colorado’s House of Representatives. 

This week, yet another proposal came from a Senate committee that aims to curb cell phone use by adults. 

How Will This New Cell Phone Bill Punish Drivers? 

In general, the new legislation, which has been titled Senate Bill 65, would look to curb the use of cell phones for drivers who are 18 years and older. 

Throughout the years, the main people who were punished for driving while on their phones were drivers under 18 years old. In their case, they are not allowed to use their cell phones while driving in any situation.

However, Colorado law has allowed adult drivers to use their phones for voice calls, which extends to holding your phone to your ear. 

The new bill aims to completely eliminate the use of cell phones for all drivers. Of course, you are still allowed to make phone calls using a hands-free accessory and if you’re parked, but it aims to completely stop people from having their phone in hand while driving. 

What Would the New Penalties Be for Using Your Cell Phone While Driving? 

There are a few different tiers of penalties for the proposed bill. 

For first-time offenders, there would be a $75 fine and two license suspension points would be added to the driver's record. 

For second-time offenders within a 24-month period, it would be $150 and an additional three license suspension points. 

Finally, a third time or subsequent offenses within 24 months would get a $250 fine and four additional license suspension points. 

For reference, adults over the age of 21 can get their license suspended after getting 12 or more points in 12 months or 18 within 24 months. 

How Cell Phone Usage Has Affected Colorado Car Accidents

According to Colorado Public Radio, it is generally hard to quantify. 

A crash caused by cell phone usage falls under distracted driving, which accounted for 72 deaths and 15,000 crashes in Colorado in 2022 alone. 

However, CPR notes that distracted driving crashes are more general, since it can be caused by innumerable different sources.

However, they noticed that more than half of Coloradans use their cell phones while driving. 

It is without a question that cell phones can lead to distracted driving, but to what extent the state wants to control the usage of them is still hotly debated. Only time will tell if Senate Bill 65 will be passed within the coming months or if it will be shot down yet again.

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