Articles Posted in Traffic Violations

Two years ago, Colorado passed a law making it a crime to type out text messages on one’s phone while driving. The law was intended to cut down on distracted driving, which in turn was meant to decrease the rate of car accidents in Colorado. However, the texting while driving ban is turning out to be more difficult to enforce than anticipated, according to a recent column in the Coloradoan.

The law prohibits texting while driving, but it doesn’t prohibit adults from using their phones to look up contact information or dialing a phone number they want to call. Since all these activities can look very similar to texting, it can be difficult for police officers to be sure whether a driver using his cell phone is doing so illegally. Even though texting while driving is a primary offense – which means drivers can be stopped on suspicion of texting whether or not they are also doing something else that causes suspicion – few police officers actually make texting-related stops. Colorado police also note that drivers who see a police car often put their phones down, even if they are not pulled over by the officer.
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pulled-over-11301900.jpgMany reasons may warrant a police officer or highway patrolman to pull over a driver operating a motor vehicle, as long as that cause is within the legal confines of The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The amendment rules that individuals shall not be subjected to “unreasonable search and seizure.” A police officer must exhibit “probable cause” in order to pull someone over, which is considered seizure under the amendment. Probable cause means the officer has substantial reason to believe that an individual has violated the law and the situation requires further investigation and intervention on the officer’s behalf.

Reasons for being pulled over range from smaller infractions like failing to signal when changing lanes, to larger implications like reasonable suspicion of organized crime activity. That said, the most common grounds for an officer to pull over a driver are traffic infractions.
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The Colorado Springs Gazette reported recently that the City Council is considering an ordinance allowing the use of video cameras to detect motorists who run red lights. The cameras would be installed this summer. After a brief warning period, scheduled to end in October, the police department would issue citations to motorists who are clearly caught on camera running a red light.

The council is expected to give its final approval to the plan by June 22. If the ordinance is approved, police plan to install cameras at four Colorado Springs intersections. Cameras will be installed on Northbound Nevada Avenue at Bijou Street; on Eastbound Oro Blanco Drive at Barnes Road; and on Westbound Platte Avenue at Murray Boulevard and at Circle Drive. These four intersections are among the fifteen city intersections with the highest number of right-angle crashes.
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Colorado Springs Police have arrested two men on suspicion of theft and various traffic violations. According to this KOAA news report, motorcycle officers tried to make a traffic stop on a Hyundai for a defective windshield. However, the car driver did not stop, ran a stop sign and then crashed into a retaining wall while trying to turn into an alley, police said. Police pursued the driver and a passenger on foot and arrested them. The car was stolen, the report says. The driver of the car faced theft charges, multiple traffic charges and had three outstanding felony warrants. The passenger was served and released on theft charges, the report states.

Theft charges in Colorado are usually categorized into petty theft and grand theft – depending on the value of the items stolen. In cases where it involves auto theft, it will most likely be a felony charge. Traffic charges can also land you in quite a bit of trouble. If you are a repeat traffic offender, you run the risk of your license being suspended or revoked.
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Colorado Springs police are investigating a serious auto accident where both drivers involved were allegedly driving under the influence. According to this KKTV news report, the two cars – a Ford sedan traveling west on Colorado Avenue and a Nissan SUV driving south on 24th Street – collided. Both drivers were admitted to the hospital in serious condition while passengers in both vehicles were treated for minor injuries. Police say both men will be charged with Colorado Springs DUI and vehicular assault. Both are expected to be arrested after they are released from the hospital.

Each state in the United States has its own set of DUI laws, but there are certain concepts that are common to most states. In all states, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of illegal drugs – be it recreational or prescription drugs. Both the criminal and civil penalties for drunk driving can be harsh and could include loss of license, hefty fines, jail time, community service, restitution, probation and mandatory substance abuse treatment. If you are a repeat offender, the consequences may be even more severe.
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A 20-year-old woman was arrested following a three-car collision on Austin Bluffs Parkway. According to a recent article posted on Southern Colorado’s KKTV.COM, the woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Colorado and vehicular assault.

The Colorado Springs car accident happened near the University of Colorado campus as the woman, who was driving eastbound on Austin Bluffs, lost control of her car. Her Toyota Camry then crossed the median into the westbound lanes and hit a Geo Tracker as well as a Ford pick-up truck, Colorado Springs police said. The driver of the Tracker suffered “serious bodily injury” as his auto rolled over in the crash.
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According to a published report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a 25 year old driver who was pulled over for speeding, unsafe driving, and suspicion of drinking and driving has explained that the reason he swerved into the wrong lane on the highway was that he was text messaging.

The driver was traveling in the wrong lane when he approached a Cass County deputy’s squad car on a Minneapolis highway. The driver swerved to avoid hitting the squad car, then took off at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour before pulling over.

“This is the kind of traffic event where almost everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” said Nathan Bowie, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. “Fortunately, the officer was there to make the stop before anything else happened.”

Research shows that driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes. According to a 2006 NHTSA and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study, nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the crash. Cell phone use is one of the most common driver distractions.
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