Colorado

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban no
Young drivers all cellphone ban drivers younger than 18
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 75
Urban interstates (mph) 65
Other limited access roads (mph) 65
Other roads (mph) 65
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 151
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 12 months
Have a minimum supervised driving time of 50 hours, 10 of which must be at night
Have a minimum age of 16
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions midnight-5 a.m. secondary enforcement
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
first 6 months—no passengers; second 6 months—no more than one passenger secondary enforcement
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 12 months or until age 18, whichever occurs first (min. age: 17)
Passenger restrictions 12 months or until age 18, whichever occurs first (min. age: 17)
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 5 years
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions people 66 and older cannot renew electronically, but they can renew by mail if the prior renewal was in person and a licensed physician or optometrist certifies that they passed a vision exam given within the six months prior to renewal
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint younger than 1 year and less than 20 pounds in a rear-facing infant seat; 1 through 3 years and 20-40 pounds in a child safety seat; 4 through 7 years in a booster seat
Adult safety belt permissible 8 through 15 years
Maximum fine 1st offense $81
Seating preference 1 year and younger and less than 20 pounds must be in the rear seat if available
Children not covered all children covered
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 07/01/87
Standard enforcement? no
Who is covered? In what seats? 16+ years in front seat
Maximum fine 1st offense $71
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? yes
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered 17 and younger and passengers 17 and younger
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law no law
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas yes
Gaps in coverage people sitting in the cargo area if it is fully or partially enclosed on all 4 sides
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less; Colorado DOT may permit LSVs on some roadways with a speed limit equal to 40 mph
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? 25 mph
MEDIUM-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are medium-speed vehicles permitted? roads with posted limit of 45 mph or less once DOT adopts standard
What is the top speed permissible for medium-speed vehicles? 45 mph
AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT: RED LIGHT CAMERAS
Statewide or only specified locations? statewide
Violations red light
Citations issued to whom? registered owner
Who is liable? driver
What image is taken? tag and driver
Traditional enforcement penalty $110 fine (including surcharge)/4 points
Auto enforcement penalties/record $75; no points or record
AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT: SPEED CAMERAS
Statewide or only specified locations? restricted to construction and school zones, residential areas, or adjacent to a municipal park
Violations speed
Citations issued to whom? registered owner
Who is liable? driver
What image is taken? tag and driver
Traditional enforcement penalty $151 (including surcharge)/4 points
Auto enforcement penalties/record $40 maximum fine ($80 in school zones); no points or record; warning only for first photo radar offense if speed within 10 mph of limit

1In Colorado, the minimum permit age varies. Fifteen year-olds who are enrolled in driver education may apply for an instruction permit. Their supervising driver must be a parent, stepparent, grandparent, guardian, or driving instructor. At age 15, 6 months, driver education is no longer required, but applicants for this permit must have completed a four hour driver awareness program. At 16, young drivers may apply for a permit that allows driving while supervised by a licensed driver age 21 or older.