|Law forces teens to hang up phone|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Colorado cell phone/text messaging law is now in effect.
As of Tuesday, Dec. 1, law enforcement agencies will be on the look out for teens talking on cell phones behind the wheel as well as anyone who may be text messaging while driving.
Colorado House Bill 1094 prohibits operators of a motor vehicle who are under 18 years of age from using a wireless telephone, which includes text messaging, while the vehicle they are operating is in motion.
The law also prohibits persons who are 18 years of age and older from using a wireless telephone to send text messages while operating a motor vehicle.
There are some exceptions to the law. They include reporting a fire, a traffic accident in which one or more injuries are apparent, a serious road hazard, a medical or hazardous materials emergency or to report a person who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner.
Police Chief Phil Biersdorfer said this law will cut down on accidents and possible deaths. He also said there will be some “education” time where officers will let people know about the law but he said it has been publicized in the news a lot lately.
Pulling over to the side of the road to use the phone will be accepted, however sitting at a red light and text messaging or using the phone will not be permitted.
Text messaging and cell phone use has led to countless motor vehicle accidents and deaths around the country. It was also found to be a contributor in the Sept. 12 2008 passenger train crash in California that killed 25 people.
According to the bill, the fines will be $50 for a first offense and $100 for a second offense.
HB 1094 was signed by Gov. Bill Ritter on June 1, 2009 in Loveland where a 9-year-old was killed by a driver using a cell phone.