It was only a couple of weeks ago when state officials revealed that Colorado had a record-breaking year for motorcycle fatalities in 2016. The news was jarring for state officials and it cast a doubtful light on some of the safety programs started by the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol. However, the state’s legislature has taken notice, and a new bill might help curb motorcycle crashes if it is passed.
Can a Bill Protect Motorcyclists from Distracted Drivers?
Senate Bill 27 is a new effort to stop texting while driving. Currently it is illegal to text on your cellphone while driving in Colorado, but the fine for doing so is only $50 and a point from your driver’s license. However, this new bill will steepen that fine to a whopping $500 and five points off your driver’s license. Second offenses will cost the driver $750 and five more points off their license.
The bill is being sponsored by Senator Lois Court, and it also has the support of several motorcycling organizations. The motorcycling community from Parker came to testify on the bill’s behalf after losing two riders to a crash involving a woman who was texting while driving. But some senators were worried that the wording of the bill was too open to interpretation.
Right now, the State Affairs Committee is trying to clarify the language in SB 27, and that means it could be up for a vote as soon as this month. State officials hope that a bill like this will help deter drivers from using their cellphones while driving, and it couldn’t come at a better time.
The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol are blaming distracted driving for the record high in motorcycling fatalities. Could this new bill help bring those numbers back down? Do you think increasing the penalties for distracted driving will really get this problem under control? Tell your motorcycling attorneys what you think on Twitter and Facebook.