Distracted Driving Enforcement Begins Today

June 2, 2016 - Traffic Safety - DENVER — Preliminary data indicates that in 2015, cell phones were a contributing factor in 17 fatal Colorado car crashes.

With this stat in mind, expect to see law enforcement looking for distracted drivers this weekend. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado State Patrol (CSP) begin a statewide distracted driving enforcement period today, Thursday, June 2, that will run through Sunday, June 5. 

“New data from AAA shows that 60 percent of crashes involving teen drivers are caused by distracted driving,” said CDOT Communications Director Amy Ford.  “That said, we know that distracted driving is not only a teen problem. Of the distracted driving crashes in Colorado between 2012 and 2015, drivers 21 to 30 years old were involved in 30 percent of the crashes, and drivers 31 to 40 years old were the second largest group, accounting for 18 percent of distracted driving crashes.”

In Colorado, texting and driving is a primary offense, meaning law enforcement can stop drivers for the offense alone. Drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving, and they can be fined and risk losing their licenses.

“The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered the summer travel season, and is also one of the most dangerous times of the year based on the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities that occur,” said Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Distracted driving is one of the major causes of crashes, so we have a zero tolerance policy toward distracted drivers. If you’re in the car with a distracted driver, don’t be afraid to speak up — it could save your life.”

CDOT is launching a high-visibility, statewide distracted driving prevention campaign in July.

CDOT’s Drop The Distraction campaign educates motorists about the dangers of distracted driving. For more information about distracted driving in Colorado, visit codot.gov/safety/distracteddriving.