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Colorado Lawmakers Reject Measure To Ban Cellphone Use In Cars

Valarie Smith
High Plains Public Radio

Despite testimony about loved ones who have died in car crashes caused by distracted driving, a proposal to ban the use of cellphones for all Colorado drivers was rejected by the state’s Republican-led Senate committee Wednesday.

As The Denver Post reports, the measure would have prohibited the use of hand-held mobile devices for talking and texting without a hands-free device but failed in a 3-2 vote by the Senate committee.

Lawmakers approved harsher penalties for texting while driving during the last legislative session, increasing the fine for doing so from $50 to $300 and from one to four points on a driver’s license. That law includes language saying that texting and driving is illegal only if it’s done in a “careless and impudent manner.”

The Republican committee members felt a tougher law wasn’t needed.

The panel’s GOP majority also struck down a bill that would have required seatbelt use by all passengers in a vehicle and would have allowed law enforcement to stop drivers solely for failure to wear a seatbelt.