DENVER – Everyone hates traffic tickets. Getting pulled over for speeding or rolling through a stop sign is a major inconvenience, but it can mean safer streets for all of us.
The traffic violations as mentioned above are some of the most flagrant offenses for motorists and are likely among the most common types of citations patrol officers in Colorado hand out.
But there are several little-known laws on the books in Colorado and in communities across the state that some motorists may be breaking every day without even realizing it.
Here are just some of Colorado’s little-known laws and rules of the road that drivers should be aware of:
Under 18? No cell phones
While texting and driving are against the law for every motorist, drivers under 18 years of age are additionally prohibited from using a cell phone to make calls while driving.
Take the headphones off
It’s illegal in Colorado to wear headphones while driving.
Don’t merge if you’re going to slow traffic
Merging traffic must yield the right-of-way to all oncoming vehicles. Additionally, drivers must avoid merging if it means another vehicle must slow down for you.
Parked car crash: Leave note or call police?
In Colorado, you must do both. If you crash into a parked car and cannot find the owner, call police and then leave a note.
When “Code 15” of the chain law is in effect (on state and federal highways), all vehicles must have one of the following in order to proceed:
- Snow tires with a minimum of 1/8” of tread; or
- All weather tires with mud and snow (M/S) mark with 1/8” of tread; or
- Four-wheel drive with 1/8” of tread; or Traction devices (chains, auto-sock, etc.) for two drive tires.
One-way left turn on red
A left turn from a one-way street onto another one-way street during a red light is permitted (unless otherwise posted) after the driver makes a complete stop.
Narrow mountain roadway
When vehicles meet on a steep, narrow one-way road, the vehicle going downhill must yield the right of-way to the vehicle going uphill.
It is not illegal to deliberately drive through a yellow light in Colorado.
Should I complete the left turn if I’m in the middle of an intersection when it turns red?
Denver7 Traffic Reporter Jayson Luber tackled this tricky question earlier this year. What he found out was that Colorado law, like many other States, does not dictate expressly if drivers should pull out half way into the intersection or wait at the stop bar. Instead, the law indicates that drivers just make sure to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.