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Lawmakers propose banning phone use while driving

By Dana Molina, Multimedia Journalist/Telemundo Anchor, dana.molina@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 25 2014 08:05:47 PM CST

State lawmakers propose a bill to ban talking on the phone whiled driving unless drivers use a hands-free device.

FOUNTAIN, Colo. -

State lawmakers introduced a bill that would ban using a cellphone while driving, unless it's through a hands-free device.

Texting and driving is already illegal in Colorado, and this bill would take it a step further. Under the proposed bill, drivers would be ticketed if they were in an accident caused because they were on the phone, or if they were caught on the phone while driving through a school or construction zone. Outside of those circumstances though, they couldn't be ticketed simply for being on the phone. Police would have to catch them committing another traffic violation, like speeding.

Fountain Police Officer Shayna Marshall supports the bill's goal. She said distracted driving kills 40,000 people in the U.S. Every year.

"If we can take one more distraction off the street, get people to really pay attention to what they're doing, maybe we can lower those numbers and make people safer so everybody can go home at night," she said.

As for enforcement, Marshall said it would be easier than enforcing the current no-texting-and-driving law. It's because if a driver has a phone in his or her hand, police can't tell whether they're texting or doing something else. Marshall said proving a traffic accident was caused by talking on the phone while driving isn't an easy task either.

"All around, enforcement of it is probably going to be better if we just are able to initiate a traffic stop based on somebody having their phone up to their ear," she said. "(It) is actually going to be better than just trying to cite them when they're caught speeding."

Drivers told KRDO NEWSCHANNEL 13 that although they occasionally use talk on their phone while driving, they agree with the bill.

"What's so important that you could risk a live for?" Robert Sanders said. "Not just yours but other people's lives."

Driver Phillip Lyons had some simple advice.

"Hang up and drive," he said.

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