As your criminal defense attorney in Colorado would have told you, from now on irresponsible drivers, who hurt people on roads, would likely get taken off the same. This means that the days of reckless driving in this state are over. A bill has been recently passed to this effect by legislators in the state. This is the first time that the state has deemed to treat such drivers in a different way than drivers who only damage property.
Senate Bill 19-175
The new bill is Senate Bill 19-175. As per this bill, unfocused and careless drivers who have been found guilty of leading to serious wounds for walkers or pedestrians would have 12 points allotted to their driver’s license.
In fact, as your Colorado criminal defense lawyer would have told you this legal protection would also be extended to other vulnerable people who use the highways and streets in the state such as cyclists, road workers, and police officers. Once these points have been assigned the Department of Motor Vehicles would have no option but to review the traffic record of said individuals. At that time, it would have to be decided whether to restrict their driving privileges or suspend them altogether.
This happens to be a necessary law because without its reckless drivers who hurt others on streets face slight penalty for such acts.
Why is the new law necessary?
Piep Van Heuven, the Policy Director of Bicycle Colorado, says that if a careless driver clips someone else’s mirror with her or his car she or he gets 4 points on the license. In case a reckless driver hits someone on their bike and makes them, wheelchair ridden for the rest of their lives the penalty is the same. So, the lopsided nature of the present system can be easily understood and this is where the new law assumes such importance.
What does the current law state in these cases?
As per the law working right now, a careless driver can continue driving immediately even after hitting someone. This means that she or he has the chance to potentially injure others 3 more times before her or his license is deferred. Quite often it has been seen that such repeat offenders can cause near deaths as well. A victim of such a crash in 2014 – a cyclist named Adelaide Perr from Boulder – says that the person who hit her was clearly negligent while driving and in spite of her near-death experience got only 4 points on the license.
What is worse over here is the fact that the concerned culprit was allowed to drive in spite of 17 instances of past driving infractions.
What can the judges do in this regard?
Under the new bill judges would now have the right to order social work and remedial driving education so that the culprits can become a better driver. They can also order the culprits to pay restitution so that the medical bills of the victims can be covered. The same also goes for their potential loss of income owing to injuries sustained in the accident.
Other such instances in the USA (United States of America)
The bill passed by Colorado is similar to ones that are already in operation in 7 other states. 20 other states are also providing similar protection but through a number of laws at the same time. In the Colorado Senate it was passed by 32-2 and in the House, it was passed by 59-5. The Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, is expected to sign it and make it a law soon enough. The lawmakers in this case offered bipartisan support for the bill and this was because of the wide array of people who could be classed as vulnerable users.