The Colorado Senate is focusing on motorist safety with new legislation. Senate Bill 17-229 involves motorists who fail to exercise care as they pass stationary vehicles that are displaying their visual signals. Currently, those in violation of exercising caution nearing the emergency or towing vehicles along the roadway are committing a Class A traffic offense. The bill makes an addition to include municipal utility service vehicles. The penalty for a motorist who causes bodily injury will be increased from a Class 1 misdemeanor, and in cases where death ensues, the charge will be a Class 6 felony. This law is referred to as the “Move Over for Cody Act”.
Current Statute 42-4-705
SB 17-229 is added to the statute that explains that motorists that are approaching to pass emergency vehicles which are displaying visual signals should exercise care and caution. The visual signals include lights which are red, white or blue that are in flash or rotate mode. When the roadway has two or more lanes, the driver should move to allow at least one travel lane of separation in-between. If this is not possible based on circumstances, the driver should significantly reduce speed and approach with caution.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
House Bill 17-1277 involves the penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident when there is bodily injury. The bill will allow the Department of Revenue to suspend the driver's license of a driver leaving the scene of an accident where bodily injury occurs based on the preponderance of the evidence. This suspension may begin in the interim period while a case is pending. If the driver is convicted, which results in a revocation of the license, both periods would run concurrently. The driver has a right to challenge the suspension and request a temporary license allowing for travel to work, school and medical appointments.
The current statute 42-4-1601 that HB 17-1277 refers to is as follows: any driver of a vehicle with involvement in an accident where serious bodily injury or death occurs must return and remain at the scene. While remaining at the scene, the driver will do so in a manner that does not obstruct traffic. Serious bodily injury is defined as that with a significant risk of death, disfigurement, impairment, or 2nd to 3rd-degree burns.
The Colorado Legislature
The General Assembly is made up of 65 Representatives and 35 Senators with the following provisions:
- Terms: Senators serve four-year terms, while Representatives serve two-year
- Term limits: All members may serve a maximum of eight consecutive years
- Leadership: The Senate has a President, while the House has a Speaker, who are in charge
Unfortunately, Colorado roadways are frequently the setting for accidents which result in serious injuries and even death. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal proudly stands for the rights of those injured as a result of driver negligence. You may be eligible for significant economic retribution under state law; therefore, contact the office today at (303) 825-2223.