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Penalties Could Rise For Texting And Driving, But No Word On Make-Up And Mustaches

Colorado General Assembly
Sen. Randy Baumgartner, R-Hot Sulpher Springs

If you are pulled over by a Colorado state trooper for texting and driving, the fine is $50 and one point on your license. A measure proposed by Sen. Louis Court, R-Denver, and Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, would increase the penalty sixfold to $300. Violators would also lose up to four points from their driver’s licenses.

“We’re going to fine you for putting every single other person’s life on the road in danger,” said Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs.

He helped broker a compromise on the bill: If you text while waiting in traffic or stopped, it would not be a crime.

While the Colorado State Patrol says distracted driving caused by texting is one of the top reasons for accidents and fatalities, some Senators wonder if that’s the only problem.

“I’m not saying that you should text and drive,” said Sen. Randy Baumgartner, a Republican from Hot Sulphur Springs. “Maybe we should talk about putting makeup on or eating a sandwich, or trimming your mustache.”

Baumgartner is known for his horseshoe mustache and his remark created some backlash on social media, including these tweets to KUNC host Erin O'Toole.

Senate Bill 27 moved forward after a short debate on the senate floor March 3. It is expected to go through another round of voting and, if approved, will go to the House of Representatives for debate.
Bente Birkeland contributed reporting to this story.

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