driver using phone while driving about to hit a childColorado Rider News had the pleasure today to sit with many motorcycle groups and riders to stand united and to show support for Democrat Sen. Lois Court’s BILL SB18-049.

What is SB18-049

This Bill asked for action on the use of mobile devises while driving. It sought to limit the use of mobile devices (cell phones) while operating a moving vehicle.

Currently the law on the books only prohibits individuals who are younger than 18 years of age from hand holding a mobile device.  The current penalty for individuals under 18 is $50.00 and the Bill was asking for an increase to $300.00

Seems like this Bill should be a walk in the park, RIGHT?  Seems like a Bill that wouldn’t matter what party you are: Democrat or Republican.  This was a Bill that would SAVE LIVES.

Sadly, you don’t have to watch DC politics anymore, just go down to our State Capital and you can see how voting down party lines is affecting you in Colorado.  This Bill was voted down by a vote of 3-2

Far left: Senator Lois Court testifies on behalf of SB18-049. Senators (L-R): Sen. Chair Vicki Marble (District 32), Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (District 1), Sen. Owen Hill (District 10), Sen. Stephen Fenberg (District 18).

How Senators Voted


  • Rep – Sen. Chair Vicki Marble – District 32
  • Rep – Sen. Owen Hill – District 10
  • Rep – Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg – District 1


  • Dem – Sen. Louis Court – District 31
  • Dem – Sen Stephen Fenberg – District 18

CORD (Coloradans Organized for Responsible Driving) and Attendees sat in despair as we all watched these Senators vote along party lines.

Laurie Montoya testifies

Colorado Rider News Publisher, Laurie Montoya, testifies in favor of SB18-049 next to Senator Lois Court.

The testimony today came from people who had lost loved ones at the hands of distracted driving. AAA Colorado showed the panel the cost savings to the state of Colorado, Insurance representatives showed the Committee how this would save insurance premiums and even Scott O’Sullivan from The O’Sullivan Law Firm, a well-respected motorcycle attorney, testified that this bill would hurt personal injury lawsuits in Colorado, but that it would save lives.

Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol, also testified in support of SB18-049, saying this was a necessary step and would enable CSHP to pull over more drivers on a primary charge, that officers would no longer have to try to determine how old the driver was or wait for the driver to commit and infraction, thereby giving them probable cause to pull them over. If this Bill was passed, the officers would have an easier time of enforcing distracted driving laws.

Andy Karsian from C-DOT also testified, and their current campaign of Distracted Driving is a Killer Habit opened the eyes of this rider. Here are some of the statistics that came out.

  • Distracted drivers cause an average of 40 crashes per day in Colorado
  • 98% of a national survey states that drivers know distracted driving is dangerous and yet 75% of them continue to do it.

The US Dept. of Transportation currently restricts commercial vehicle drivers from driving with hand-held devices and their research has shown that the odds of a driver being involved in a safety critical event (crash, near crash or unintentional lane change is 23.2 times greater than drivers who go hands free or blue tooth.

After the hearing was over, the attendees all said that the fight will go on to get the message out to drivers this year until they can bring this Bill back in the next session.

A special thank you to Sen Lois Court for her hard work on this Bill and to everyone who participated today. Colorado Rider News will continue to keep you updated and while we may have lost this battle, we haven’t lost the war. Continuing to focus on this issue and talk about it with our friends and family can help us continue to keep the spotlight on it and hopefully change people’s behaviors, thereby saving lives. CORD continues to be committed to making the roads safer for everyone, and we welcome the opportunity to bring something back to the legislature next year.