Susan Dane, Coloradans Organized for Responsible Driving (CORD)

Current law prohibits individuals under 18 from using a mobile electronic device when driving. The bill applies the prohibition to an individual who is 18 years of age or older unless the individual is using a hands-free accessory.

The latest update is that SB24-065 passed on the Senate Floor and is headed to the first House Committee. We understand that Governor Polis favors this legislation, which gives us hope that we will get it passed this year.

This journey began in 2016 when Brian and Jacquie Lehner were killed on their motorcycle in a head on collision. A car driver, reading a text message on her cell phone, crossed the double yellow lines on Hwy 83 at the Russellville Road curve, hitting Brian and Jacquie and killing them. There is a memorial along the side of the road, on the east side, that is maintained by motorcyclists from the Parker area who were friends of Brian and Jacquie. The memorial has two crosses, one with a cowboy hat on it, as Brian always wore a cowboy hat.

A group of us bikers got together to try to make something positive come out of Brian and Jacquie’s deaths. We formed Coloradans Organized for Responsible Driving (CORD). We discovered that the fines for texting while driving were $50 for a first offense and $100 for a second offense. We felt those fines were insufficient to prevent people from texting while driving. We discovered that Senator Lois Court had filed a bill in the 2017 legislative session to increase the fines for texting while driving. Working with Senator Court in 2017, we were able to pass a bill that increased the fines.

  • 2018, we filed a new bill that would allow for hands-free use mobile electronic devices, basically a hands-free bill. The Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee killed the bill at its first Committee hearing.
  • 2019, we filed the bill again, passing it through the Senate. It was then killed at the House Judiciary Committee.
  • 2020, the bill passed the Senate again and was scheduled to be heard by the House Transportation & Local Gov’t Committee in April, but COVID hit, the legislature shut down, and the bill died on the calendar.
  • 2021, the bill was not filed.
  • 2022, the bill was filed, and we had the additional support of General Motors to get the bill passed. The son of the former CEO of General Motors was killed in a crash involving the driver being distracted by their cell phone. The bill passed the Senate and the first House Committee, but the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee took it off their schedule, and the bill died on the calendar.
  • 2023, the bill was not filed.
  • 2024, and it has passed the Senate. We are awaiting its assignment to the first House Committee.

As the bill goes through the different committees, we post the contact info for the committee members so everyone can email/call them to request their support for the bill. This will be exceedingly important as the bill will be presented to two House Committees, and the House Committees have been resistant to this legislation in the past. The more people who reach out to the House Committee members to request their support, the better our chances of making it through the House and to the Governor’s desk for signature.


Current law prohibits an individual who is under 18 years of age from using a mobile electronic device when driving. The bill applies the prohibition to an individual who is 18 years of age or older unless the individual is using a hands-free accessory. The following uses are exempted:

  • By an individual reporting an emergency to state or local authorities;
  • By an employee or contractor of a utility when responding to a utility emergency;
  • By a first responder; or
  • By an individual in a motor vehicle that is parked.

The penalties for a violation are:

  • For a first offense, $75 and 2 license suspension points;
  • For a second offense within 24 months, $150 and 3 license suspension points; and
  • For a third or subsequent offense within 24 months, $250 and 4 license suspension points.

A violation will be dismissed if the individual has not previously committed a violation, produces proof of purchase of a hands-free accessory, and affirms, under penalty of perjury, that the defendant has not previously claimed this option to dismiss.

Current law requires a peace officer who makes a traffic stop to record the demographic information of the violator, whether a citation has been issued, and the violation cited. The bill clarifies that the peace officer must record whether the bill has been violated.

The executive director of the Department of Transportation is required to create a campaign raising public awareness of the bill’s requirements and the dangers of using mobile electronic devices while driving in consultation with the chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

CORD NEEDS YOUR HELP: We need all riders reading this article or following us on our Facebook page TO GET INVOLVED.  Distracted Driving is one of the #1 reasons that pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and drivers are injured and killed in Colorado.   Please reach out to your specific Representative and the entire House of Representatives if you have time to request their support of the bill. You can find your Representative on the link below.

We post updates on the progress of SB24-065, Mobile Electronic Devices & Motor Vehicle Driving. Click here to follow us. We encourage anyone interested in this legislation to follow the page.

I was just featured on a new podcast, Motobeemer, that explains behind-the-scenes work that goes into a bill and outlines more about the bill.  Click here to listen to the podcast.  As a representative of CORD, I am always available to answer questions and present to communities interested in this legislation. The 2024 legislative session will end in early May, so there are about eight weeks to pass this bill.

Susan Dane
Coloradans Organized for Responsible Driving (CORD)