7 Unusual Colorado Driving Laws You May Not Know

traffic light on green against blue sky

Certain traffic laws go without saying: stopping at a red light, yielding to pedestrians, wearing your seatbelt. Other laws may not be as well-known, however, and are frequently violated by drivers as a result. As strange as some of these rules may sound, they are still law in the state of Colorado. You can be held liable and even face jail time if you are found disobeying any of these laws, especially if an accident occurs as a result. Here are the top unusual Colorado driving laws that you may not know. 

Lesser Known Traffic Rules in Colorado

1. You Cannot Buy or Sell a Vehicle on a Sunday

This is not technically a traffic law, but it is still a lesser known rule pertaining to motor vehicles. Colorado has had a “blue law” in effect since the 1950s that bans the sale and trade of automobiles (new and used) on Sundays. A blue law is typically enacted for the purpose of ensuring at least one day per week for rest or religious worship. 

Colorado’s blue law does not extend to businesses selling car parts and accessories or to businesses servicing vehicles, such as gas stations or auto repair shops. 

2. You Must Use the Three Second Rule

Tailgating is certainly annoying, but did you know that it is also considered a Class A traffic violation in Colorado? Drivers are required to maintain at least three seconds of distance between themselves and the back of another vehicle at all times, except in the case of a funeral procession.

3. You May Not Drive in the Left Lane

While many drivers assume they can remain in the left lane indefinitely (so long as they are driving the speed-limit), this is actually not the case. In places where the speed limit is 65 mph or higher (the highway), you are only allowed to be in the left lane to pass another vehicle. Exceptions to the rule include situations where it is unsafe or not feasible to merge into the right lane, or when a vehicle needs to make a left turn. 

4. You Must Adhere to Stop Lines

The big white bands at an intersection exist to provide the exact, safe space to come to a stop. Drivers frequently stop well over or behind these lines, winding up right in the crosswalk at times. This is, technically, against the law in Colorado. Unless directed to do so by a police officer, vehicles must stop at the designated lines in order to be compliant. 

5. Minors Cannot Use Cell Phones

Using a mobile device is risky while driving at any age. However, statistics have shown that drivers under the age of 18 are more likely to be injured in an accident related to distracted driving, such as texting. For this reason, Colorado law prohibits cell phone use by minors operating a motor vehicle. 

6. You Must Leave a Note If You Damage a Car

If you cause damage to a vehicle in Colorado and the owner of that vehicle is not present, you are required by law to file a police report AND leave a note with your contact and insurance information. According to statute CRS 42-4-1606, failure to do both of these can result in a class 2 misdemeanor. 

7. You Can Drive Through a Yellow Light

Some states do not permit you to drive through a yellow light. However, Colorado law allows drivers to continue driving through the intersection even if the light has turned yellow. Should the light turn red before you have made it through the intersection, however, you can still receive a traffic violation for running a red light. 

Colorado Car Accident Attorney

Knowing traffic laws, common and uncommon, can help you stay safe on the road. However, accidents can and do happen. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, regardless of fault, it is a good idea to consult with a qualified car accident attorney.

From filing a claim to negotiating in the courtroom, Dave Roth has helped hundreds of clients obtain fair settlements. Let a highly experienced attorney navigate your claim while you focus on recovery and your family. Contact The Roth Group today to schedule a free consultation.