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Colorado Green Lights Texting While Driving

By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 28, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

From the state that brought you recreational marijuana, Colorado now invites you to text while driving.

Whether you are a resident or just passing through, apparently you can text, browse, or use your cell phone for selfies with one-hand while steering with the other. Just don't do it in a "careless or in an imprudent manner." In practice, this means don't text while your car is moving.

"Sounds like a political decision made under the influence of legalized marijuana," wrote Benno Kushnir.

Who Is Benno Kushnir?

For the record, Kushnir is a follower on Australian futurist and songwriter Luigi Cappel's Twitter account. Kushnir's not a legal authority, but the comment shows that Colorado's new law has spawned incredulous comments across the globe.

The question is not, who is Benno Kushnir? The question is, what are Colorado lawmakers smoking?

Apparently, local law enforcement there think it's a good idea, too. Mike Phibbs, legislative chair for the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, is all in.

"I think it's actually helped clarify the issue and targets what's really causing the problem," he said.

What Is the Problem?

Colorado seems to think the problem is not texting per se, since some people still manage to text without crashing. For example, drivers who are at a stoplight or stopped in traffic will not likely be cited.

But lawmakers throughout the country have dealt with the problem differently, generally by making it illegal to text while driving at all times. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 47 states ban texting for all drivers.

Some have tried to place the blame on the makers of cell phones and cars, expecting those industries to disable the devices when in motion. Only Colorado has the unique solution to legalize texting while driving and increase penalties for "careless" texting behind the wheel.

So if you happen to be driving in Colorado, feel free to light up a joint and text at the same time. Just don't use both hands.

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