The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is asking drivers to paint their nails red for the month of June in a show of support for its "Heads Up" campaign, which aims to bring attention to distracted driving.
The motivation behind painting your nails red is that it will serve as a visual reminder to put your phone down when driving.
You can show support by posting a pic of your red nails on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #redthumbreminder, #SaveCDOTcrews, and #moveover. Just don't post it while you're driving.
Governor John Hickenlooper expressed his solidarity in the "Heads Up" campaign when he posted a picture of red fingernails to his twitter page. For your information, the governor himself did not paint his own fingernails red. You can view his twitter pic here.
The "Heads Up" campaign is an important cause. Several of our own staff have been showing up to work with red fingernails this month in support of ending, or at least reducing, distracted driving.
What are the consequences of distracted driving in Colorado?
In Colorado, novice drivers, meaning drivers under the age of 18, are prohibited from using cell phones while driving; this means that they cannot make or receive calls or text message while driving. There are exceptions to this rule, such as if the novice driver is using their phone to report a road hazard or medical emergency.
All drivers, whether novice or not, are prohibited from texting while driving. Again, exceptions exist for when drivers are reporting emergencies.
To be convicted of a violation of Colorado's texting law, a law enforcement officer must actually see the person texting. According to the law, the fines for texting and driving are as follows:
$50.00 pine plus a $6.00 surcharge for a First Offense
$100.00 fine plus a $6.00 surcharge for a Second Offense.
But worse than any financial cost associated with texting and driving, is the cost of human life. A 2013 study done by Virignia Tech's Transportation Institute revealed that text messaging increases the risk of a crash or near-crash by two times and results in drivers taking their eyes off the road for an average of 23 seconds total.
The risk of physical harm far outweighs the conveniences of texting and driving. Please remember to put your cell phone down when driving, for your safety and the safety of motorists around you.