Mann &
Maximon

The New Colorado Bike Laws: A Summary for Cyclists

This is a compilation of State of Colorado traffic laws related to bicycles. From the bicyclist’s perspective the most important laws are:

(1) The “Three Foot Rule” § 42-4-1002 and § 42-4-1002 Passing and Overtaking Vehicles.  This section requires vehicles to give cyclists a three-foot buffer, including all mirrors, when passing or overtaking a cyclist.  Violation is a Class A traffic infraction.

(2)  The “Bicycle Discretion Rule” § 42-4-1412(5)(A)(I). Operation of bicycles and other human-powered vehicles. This section provides that a bicyclist shall ride far enough to the right as judged safe by the bicyclist to facilitate the movement of such overtaking vehicles unless other conditions make it unsafe to do so.

(3) The “Two Abreast Rule” § 42-4-1412 (6)(a) Persons riding bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

(4) The “No Threat Rule” § 42-4-1008.5. Crowding or threatening bicyclist. The driver of a motor vehicle shall not, in a careless and imprudent manner, drive the vehicle unnecessarily close to, toward, or near a bicyclist. 

(5) The “Rules of Road Rule” § 42-4-1412. Operation of bicycles and other human-powered vehicles. Every person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle except as specifically provided.  

(6) The “Vulnerable User Rule” § 42-4-1402.5.  This section provides additional penalties for motor vehicle drivers that are the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to an enumerated vulnerable road user which includes cyclists.  

Colorado Revised Statutes for Bicyclist and their Provisions (Municipal Ordinances and Traffic Codes not included)

§ 42-4-1002. Passing oncoming vehicles

(1) Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other to the right, and, upon roadways having width for not more than one lane of traffic in each direction, each driver shall give to the other at least one-half of the main-traveled portion of the roadway as nearly as possible.

(2) A driver shall not pass a bicyclist moving in the same direction and in the same lane when there is oncoming traffic unless the driver can simultaneously:

  • (a) Allow oncoming vehicles at least one-half of the main-traveled portion of the roadway in accordance with subsection (1) of this section; and
  • (b) Allow the bicyclist at least a three-foot separation between the right side of the driver's vehicle, including all mirrors or other projections, and the left side of the bicyclist at all times.

(3) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

§ 42-4-1003. Overtaking a vehicle on the left

(1) The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to the limitations, exceptions, and special rules stated in this section and sections 42-4-1004 to 42-4-1008:

  • (a) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the vehicle at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.
  • (b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall allow the bicyclist at least a three-foot separation between the right side of the driver's vehicle, including all mirrors or other projections, and the left side of the bicyclist at all times.
  • (c) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of the driver's vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

Section 42-4-1402.5 - Vulnerable Road user - Prohibition - Violations and Penalties 

(1) Definition. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "vulnerable road user" means:

  • (a) A pedestrian;
  • (b) A person engaged in work upon a roadway or upon utility facilities along a roadway;
  • (c) A person providing emergency services within a right-of-way;
  • (d) A peace officer who is outside a motor vehicle and performing the peace officer's duties in a right-of-way;
  • (e) A person riding or leading an animal; or
  • (f) A person lawfully using any of the following on a public right-of-way, crosswalk, or shoulder of the roadway:
    • (I) A bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, tricycle, or other pedal-powered vehicle;
    • (II) A farm tractor or similar vehicle designed primarily for farm use;
    • (III) A skateboard;
    • (IV) Roller skates;
    • (V) In-line skates;
    • (VI) A scooter;
    • (VII) A moped;
    • (VIII) A motorcycle;
    • (IX) An off-highway vehicle;
    • (X) An animal-drawn, wheeled vehicle;
    • (XI) Farm equipment;
    • (XII) A sled;
    • (XIII) An electric personal assistive mobility device;
    • (XIV) A wheelchair;
    • (XV) A baby stroller; or
    • (XVI) A nonmotorized pull wagon.

(2) Prohibition. A person who drives a motor vehicle in violation of section 42-4-1402 and whose actions are the proximate cause of serious bodily injury, as defined in section 42-4-1601(4)(b), to a vulnerable road user commits infliction of serious bodily injury to a vulnerable road user.

(3) Violations and Penalties.

  • (a) Infliction of serious bodily injury to a vulnerable road user is a class 1 traffic misdemeanor.
  • (b) In addition to the penalties imposed in subsections (3)(a) and (3)(c) of this section, the court may order the violator to:
    • (I) Attend a driver improvement course in accordance with section 42-4-1717; and
    • (II) Perform useful public service for a number of hours, which must not exceed three hundred twenty hours, to be determined by the court in accordance with section 18-1.3-507.
  • (c) In addition to the penalties imposed in subsections (3)(a) and (3)(b) of this section, a person who is convicted of violating this section is subject to:
    • (I) License suspension in accordance with section 42-2-127; and
    • (II) An order of restitution under part 6 of article 1.3 of title 18.

C.R.S. § 42-4-1402.5
Added by 2019 Ch. 331,§ 2, eff. 5/29/2019.
Section 5 of chapter 331 (SB 19-175), Session Laws of Colorado 2019, provides that the act adding this section applies to offenses committed on or after May 29, 2019.

§ 42-4-1412. Operation of bicycles and other human-powered vehicles

(1) Every person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this article, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Said riders shall comply with the rules set forth in this section and section 42-4-221, and, when using streets and highways within incorporated cities and towns, shall be subject to local ordinances regulating the operation of bicycles and electrical assisted bicycles as provided in section 42-4-111.

(2) It is the intent of the general assembly that nothing contained in House Bill No. 1246, enacted at the second regular session of the fifty-sixth general assembly, shall in any way be construed to modify or increase the duty of the department of transportation or any political subdivision to sign or maintain highways or sidewalks or to affect or increase the liability of the state of Colorado or any political subdivision under the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act”, article 10 of title 24, C.R.S.

(3) No bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped.

(4) No person riding upon any bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall attach the same or himself or herself to any motor vehicle upon a roadway.

(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle or an electrical assisted bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic shall ride in the right-hand lane, subject to the following conditions:

  • (I) If the right-hand lane then available for traffic is wide enough to be safely shared with overtaking vehicles, a bicyclist shall ride far enough to the right as judged safe by the bicyclist to facilitate the movement of such overtaking vehicles unless other conditions make it unsafe to do so.
  • (II) A bicyclist may use a lane other than the right-hand lane when:
    • (A) Preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private roadway or driveway;
    • (B) Overtaking a slower vehicle; or
    • (C) Taking reasonably necessary precautions to avoid hazards or road conditions.
      • (III) Upon approaching an intersection where right turns are permitted and there is a dedicated right-turn lane, a bicyclist may ride on the left-hand portion of the dedicated right-turn lane even if the bicyclist does not intend to turn right.

(b) A bicyclist shall not be expected or required to:

  • (I) Ride over or through hazards at the edge of a roadway, including but not limited to fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or narrow lanes; or
  • (II) Ride without a reasonable safety margin on the right-hand side of the roadway.
    • (c) A person operating a bicycle or an electrical assisted bicycle upon a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near to the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as judged safe by the bicyclist, subject to the following conditions:
      • (I) If the left-hand lane then available for traffic is wide enough to be safely shared with overtaking vehicles, a bicyclist shall ride far enough to the left as judged safe by the bicyclist to facilitate the movement of such overtaking vehicles unless other conditions make it unsafe to do so.
  • (II) A bicyclist shall not be expected or required to:
    • (A) Ride over or through hazards at the edge of a roadway, including but not limited to fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or narrow lanes; or
    • (B) Ride without a reasonable safety margin on the left-hand side of the roadway.

(6)(a) Persons riding bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

(b) Persons riding bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

(7) A person operating a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.

(8)(a) A person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle intending to turn left shall follow a course described in sections 42-4-901(1), 42-4-903, and 42-4-1007 or may make a left turn in the manner prescribed in paragraph (b) of this subsection (8).

(b) A person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle intending to turn left shall approach the turn as closely as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. After proceeding across the intersecting roadway to the far corner of the curb or intersection of the roadway edges, the bicyclist shall stop, as much as practicable, out of the way of traffic. After stopping, the bicyclist shall yield to any traffic proceeding in either direction along the roadway that the bicyclist had been using. After yielding and complying with any official traffic control device or police officer regulating traffic on the highway along which the bicyclist intends to proceed, the bicyclist may proceed in the new direction.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (8), the transportation commission and local authorities in their respective jurisdictions may cause official traffic control devices to be placed on roadways and thereby require and direct that a specific course be traveled.

(9)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (9), every person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall signal the intention to turn or stop in accordance with section 42-4-903; except that a person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle may signal a right turn with the right arm extended horizontally.

(b) A signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle before turning and shall be given while the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle is stopped waiting to turn. A signal by hand and arm need not be given continuously if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle.

(10)(a) A person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or pathway or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian. A person riding a bicycle in a crosswalk shall do so in a manner that is safe for pedestrians.

(b) A person shall not ride a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or pathway or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk where such use of bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles is prohibited by official traffic control devices or local ordinances. A person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall dismount before entering any crosswalk where required by official traffic control devices or local ordinances.

(c) A person riding or walking a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or pathway or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances, including, but not limited to, the rights and duties granted and required by section 42-4-802.

(d) Deleted by Laws 2005, Ch. 301, § 1, eff. July 1, 2005.

(11)(a) A person may park a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle on a sidewalk unless prohibited or restricted by an official traffic control device or local ordinance.

(b) A bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle parked on a sidewalk shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrian or other traffic.

(c) A bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle may be parked on the road at any angle to the curb or edge of the road at any location where parking is allowed.

(d) A bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle may be parked on the road abreast of another such bicycle or bicycles near the side of the road or any location where parking is allowed in such a manner as does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.

(e) In all other respects, bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles parked anywhere on a highway shall conform to the provisions of part 12 of this article regulating the parking of vehicles.

(12)(a) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense; except that section 42-2-127 shall not apply.

(b) Any person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle who violates any provision of this article other than this section which is applicable to such a vehicle and for which a penalty is specified shall be subject to the same specified penalty as any other vehicle; except that section 42-2-127 shall not apply.

(13) Upon request, the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction shall complete a report concerning an injury or death incident that involves a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle on the roadways of the state, even if such accident does not involve a motor vehicle.

(14) Except as authorized by section 42-4-111, the rider of an electrical assisted bicycle shall not use the electrical motor on a bike or pedestrian path.

Added by Laws 1994, S.B.94-1, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 2005, Ch. 301, § 1, eff. July 1, 2005; Laws 2009, Ch. 239, § 6, eff. Aug. 5, 2009; Laws 2009, Ch. 281, §§ 61, 62, eff. Oct. 1, 2009; Laws 2009, Ch. 369, § 139, eff. Oct. 1, 2009.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
2004 Main Volume

Laws 1994, S.B.94-1, § 102, provides:

“Effective date--applicability. This act shall take effect January 1, 1995 and shall apply to offenses committed on or after said date.”

2011 Electronic Update
Laws 2005, Ch. 301, § 1, rewrote subpar. (6)(a)(I), which previously read:

“When there is no motor vehicle traffic approaching from the rear within a distance of three hundred feet and the sight distance on the roadway at the time and place and under the conditions then existing is a minimum of three hundred feet to the front and to the rear of the bicyclists; or”;

in par. (9)(a), added “except that a person riding a bicycle may signal a right turn with the right arm extended horizontally”; in pars. (10)(a) and (10)(b), in the first sentences, inserted “or pathway”, and added the second sentences; in par. (10)(c), inserted “or pathway” and added “, including, but not limited to, the rights and duties granted and required by section 42-4-802”; deleted par. (10)(d), which read:

“A person riding a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk shall dismount before entering any roadway and, when crossing any such roadway, shall observe all the rules and regulations applicable to pedestrians.”;

and added subsec. (13).

Laws 2005, Ch. 301, § 3, provides:

“Effective date--applicability. This act shall take effect July 1, 2005, and shall apply to offenses committed on or after said date.”

Laws 2009, Ch. 239, § 6, repealed and reenacted subsecs. (5) and (6), which previously read:

“(5) Any person riding a bicycle shall ride in the right-hand lane. When being overtaken by another vehicle, such person shall ride as close to the right-hand side as practicable. Where a paved shoulder suitable for bicycle riding is present, persons operating bicycles shall ride on the paved shoulder. These provisions shall apply, except under any of the following situations:

“(a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;

“(b) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;

“(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions, including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, or surface hazards.”

“(6)(a) Persons operating bicycles on roadways shall ride single file; except that riding no more than two abreast is permitted in the following circumstances:

  • “(I) When riding two abreast will not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic; or
  • “(II) When riding on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

“(b) Persons riding two abreast shall ride within a single lane.”

Laws 2009, Ch. 239, § 8(2), provides:

“(2) The provisions of this act shall apply to offenses committed on or after the applicable effective date of this act.”

§ 42-4-1004. When overtaking on the right is permitted

(1) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:

  • (a) When the vehicle overtaken is making or giving indication of making a left turn;
  • (b) Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles and marked for two or more lanes of moving vehicles in each direction; or
  • (c) Upon a one-way street or upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement where the roadway is free from obstructions and marked for two or more lanes of moving vehicles.

(1.5) The driver of a motor vehicle upon a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes, when overtaking a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction and riding on the left-hand side of the road, shall allow the bicyclist at least a three-foot separation between the left side of the driver's vehicle, including all mirrors or other projections, and the right side of the bicyclist at all times.

(2) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway.

(3) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

 § 42-4-1005. Limitations on overtaking on the left

(1) No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless authorized by the provisions of this article and unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completed without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within two hundred feet of any approaching vehicle.

(2) No vehicle shall be driven on the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:

  • (a) When approaching or upon the crest of a grade or a curve in the highway where the driver's view is obstructed within such distance as to create a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction;
  • (b) When approaching within one hundred feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing; or
  • (c) When the view is obstructed upon approaching within one hundred feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.

(3) The department of transportation and local authorities are authorized to determine those portions of any highway under their respective jurisdictions where overtaking and passing or driving on the left side of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may by appropriate signs or markings on the roadway indicate the beginning and end of such zones. Where such signs or markings are in place to define a no-passing zone and such signs or markings are clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person, no driver shall drive on the left side of the roadway within such no-passing zone or on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark such no-passing zone throughout its length.

(4) The provisions of this section shall not apply:

  • (a) Upon a one-way roadway;
  • (b) Under the conditions described in section 42-4-1001(1)(b);
  • (c) To the driver of a vehicle turning left into or from an alley, private road, or driveway when such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with, impeding, or endangering other traffic lawfully using the highway; or
  • (d) To the driver of a vehicle passing a bicyclist moving the same direction and in the same lane when such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with, impeding, or endangering other traffic lawfully using the highway.

(5) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1994, S.B.94-1, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 2009, Ch. 239, § 4, eff. Aug. 5, 2009.

 § 42-4-1008.5. Crowding or threatening bicyclist

(1) The driver of a motor vehicle shall not, in a careless and imprudent manner, drive the vehicle unnecessarily close to, toward, or near a bicyclist.

(2) Any person who violates subsection (1) of this section commits careless driving as described in section 42-4-1402.

Added by Laws 2009, Ch. 239, § 5, eff. Aug. 5, 2009.

§ 42-4-221. Bicycle and personal mobility device equipment

(1) No other provision of this part 2 and no provision of part 3 of this article shall apply to a bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or EPAMD or to equipment for use on a bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or EPAMD except those provisions in this article made specifically applicable to such a vehicle.

(2) Every bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or EPAMD in use at the times described in section 42-4-204 shall be equipped with a lamp on the front emitting a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front.

(3) Every bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or EPAMD shall be equipped with a red reflector of a type approved by the department, which shall be visible for six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

(4) Every bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or EPAMD when in use at the times described in section 42-4-204 shall be equipped with reflective material of sufficient size and reflectivity to be visible from both sides for six hundred feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle or, in lieu of such reflective material, with a lighted lamp visible from both sides from a distance of at least five hundred feet.

(5) A bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or EPAMD or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required by subsections (2) to (4) of this section.

(6) A bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall not be equipped with, nor shall any person use upon a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle, any siren or whistle.

(7) Every bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall be equipped with a brake or brakes that will enable its rider to stop the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle within twenty-five feet from a speed of ten miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.

(8) A person engaged in the business of selling bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles at retail shall not sell any bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle unless the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle has an identifying number permanently stamped or cast on its frame.

(9) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class B traffic infraction.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1994, S.B.94-1, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 2009, Ch. 281, § 45, eff. Oct. 1, 2009.

§ 42-4-802Pedestrians' right-of-way in crosswalks

(1) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply under the conditions stated in section 42-4-803.

(3) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and ride a bicycle, ride an electrical assisted bicycle, walk, or run into the path of a moving vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

(4) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

(5) Whenever special pedestrian-control signals exhibiting “Walk” or “Don't Walk” word or symbol indications are in place, as declared in the traffic control manual adopted by the department of transportation, such signals shall indicate and require as follows:

  • (a) “Walk” (steady): While the “Walk” indication is steadily illuminated, pedestrians facing such signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal indication and shall be given the right-of-way by the drivers of all vehicles.
  • (b) “Don't Walk” (steady): While the “Don't Walk” indication is steadily illuminated, no pedestrian shall enter the roadway in the direction of the signal indication.
  • (c) “Don't Walk” (flashing): Whenever the “Don't Walk” indication is flashing, no pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such signal indication, but any pedestrian who has partly completed crossing during the “Walk” indication shall proceed to a sidewalk or to a safety island, and all drivers of vehicles shall yield to any such pedestrian.
  • (d) Whenever a signal system provides for the stopping of all vehicular traffic and the exclusive movement of pedestrians and “Walk” and “Don't Walk” signal indications control such pedestrian movement, pedestrians may cross in any direction between corners of the intersection offering the shortest route within the boundaries of the intersection while the “Walk” indication is exhibited, if signals and other official devices direct pedestrian movement in such manner consistent with section 42-4-803(4).

(6) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

Added by Laws 1994, S.B.94-1, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 2005, Ch. 301, § 2, eff. July 1, 2005; Laws 2009, Ch. 281, § 53, eff. Oct. 1, 2009.

 § 42-4-1401. Reckless driving--penalty

(1) A person who drives a motor vehicle, bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or low-power scooter in such a manner as to indicate either a wanton or a willful disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. A person convicted of reckless driving of a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall not be subject to the provisions of section 42-2-127.

(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than ten days nor more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Added by Laws 1994, S.B.94-1, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 2009, Ch. 281, § 57, eff. Oct. 1, 2009.

 § 42-4-1402. Careless driving--penalty

(1) A person who drives a motor vehicle, bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or low-power scooter in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances, is guilty of careless driving. A person convicted of careless driving of a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall not be subject to the provisions of section 42-2-127.

(2)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection (2), any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.

  • (b) If the person's actions are the proximate cause of bodily injury to another, such person commits a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense.
  • (c) If the person's actions are the proximate cause of death to another, such person commits a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense.

Added by Laws 1994, S.B.94-1, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 2009, Ch. 281, § 58, eff. Oct. 1, 2009; Laws 2010, Ch. 243, § 2, eff. May 21, 2010.

 § 42-4-109. Low-power scooters, animals, skis, skates, and toy vehicles on highways

(1) A person riding a low-power scooter upon a roadway where low-power scooter travel is permitted shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties and penalties applicable to the driver of a vehicle as set forth in this article except those provisions of this article that, by their very nature, can have no application.

(2) A person riding a low-power scooter shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.

(3) No low-power scooter shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

(4) No person riding upon any low-power scooter, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself or herself to any vehicle upon a roadway.

(5) A person operating a low-power scooter upon a roadway shall ride as close to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(6) Persons riding low-power scooters upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast.

(6.5) A person under the age of eighteen years may not operate or carry a passenger who is under eighteen years of age on a low-power scooter unless the person and the passenger are wearing protective helmets in accordance with the provisions of section 42-4-1502(4.5).

(7) For the sake of uniformity and bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, and low-power scooter safety throughout the state, the department in cooperation with the department of transportation shall prepare and make available to all local jurisdictions for distribution to bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, and low-power scooter riders a digest of state regulations explaining and illustrating the rules of the road, equipment requirements, and traffic control devices that are applicable to such riders and their bicycles, electrical assisted bicycles, or low-power scooters. Local authorities may supplement this digest with a leaflet describing any additional regulations of a local nature that apply within their respective jurisdictions.

(8) Persons riding or leading animals on or along any highway shall ride or lead such animals on the left side of said highway, facing approaching traffic. This shall not apply to persons driving herds of animals along highways.

(9) No person shall use the highways for traveling on skis, toboggans, coasting sleds, skates, or similar devices. It is unlawful for any person to use any roadway of this state as a sled or ski course for the purpose of coasting on sleds, skis, or similar devices. It is also unlawful for any person upon roller skates or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle, or similar device to go upon any roadway except while crossing a highway in a crosswalk, and when so crossing such person shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to pedestrians. This subsection (9) does not apply to any public way which is set aside by proper authority as a play street and which is adequately roped off or otherwise marked for such purpose.

(10) Every person riding or leading an animal or driving any animal-drawn conveyance upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this article, except those provisions of this article which by their very nature can have no application.

(11) Where suitable bike paths, horseback trails, or other trails have been established on the right-of-way or parallel to and within one-fourth mile of the right-of-way of heavily traveled streets and highways, the department of transportation may, subject to the provisions of section 43-2-135, C.R.S., by resolution or order entered in its minutes, and local authorities may, where suitable bike paths, horseback trails, or other trails have been established on the right-of-way or parallel to it within four hundred fifty feet of the right-of-way of heavily traveled streets, by ordinance, determine and designate, upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation, those heavily traveled streets and highways upon which shall be prohibited any bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, animal rider, animal-drawn conveyance, or other class or kind of nonmotorized traffic that is found to be incompatible with the normal and safe movement of traffic, and, upon such a determination, the department of transportation or local authority shall erect appropriate official signs giving notice thereof; except that, with respect to controlled access highways, section 42-4-1010(3) shall apply. When such official signs are erected, no person shall violate any of the instructions contained thereon.

(12) The parent of any child or guardian of any ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit any child or ward to violate any provision of this section.

(13)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (13), any person who violates a provision of this section commits a class B traffic infraction.

(b) Any person who violates subsection (6.5) of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

 § 42-4-710. Emerging from or entering alley, driveway, or building

(1) The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, driveway, building, parking lot, or other place, immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or into the sidewalk area extending across any such alleyway, driveway, or entranceway, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian upon or about to enter such sidewalk or sidewalk area extending across such alleyway, driveway, or entranceway, as may be necessary to avoid collision, and when entering the roadway shall comply with the provisions of section 42-4-704.

(2) The driver of a vehicle entering an alley, driveway, or entranceway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian within or about to enter the sidewalk or sidewalk area extending across such alleyway, driveway, or entranceway.

(3) No person shall drive any vehicle other than a bicycle, electric assisted bicycle, or any other human-powered vehicle upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area, except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.

(4) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

“(a) It is in the best interests of all Coloradans to make our streets safe for all users including motorists, transit users, pedestrians, bicyclists, and users of other types of nonmotorized wheeled transportation;

“(b) The safe routes to school program and the bicycle and pedestrian policy adopted by the Colorado department of transportation help to make our streets more friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists, and users of other forms of nonmotorized wheeled transportation and to encourage more children to walk, bike, or use another form of nonmotorized wheeled transportation to get to and from school safely; and

“(c) Children and adolescents will benefit from additional education regarding the rules of the road, high risk traffic situations, and the safe use of bicycles and other forms of nonmotorized wheeled transportation.

“(2) The general assembly further finds and declares that:

“(a) In its strategic plan, the Colorado state patrol has made a commitment to lead and to sustain a cooperative effort that will eliminate most traffic fatalities in Colorado by 2025;

“(b) Although bicycling is a safe and healthy activity, on average, eleven bicyclists are killed and five hundred forty bicyclists are hospitalized annually in Colorado due to injuries sustained in bicycle crashes;

“(c) Brain injury is the leading cause of death and serious disability resulting from the use of nonmotorized wheeled transportation, and in Colorado approximately one-third of hospital emergency room visits for bicycle-related accidents are for brain injuries;

“(d) Of all age groups, children between the ages of five and fourteen have the highest rate of bicycle-related hospital admissions, and almost one-third of such hospitalized children have suffered brain injuries; and

“(e) Because the economic cost to an individual and to society of a single severe nonfatal brain injury can exceed two million one hundred thousand dollars, the state has a legitimate interest in preventing and mitigating the severity of such injuries.

“(3) The general assembly further finds and declares that it is necessary, appropriate, and in the best interest of the state to:

“(a) Adopt the existing bike and pedestrian policy directive of the department of transportation as law; and

“(b) Facilitate the promulgation and distribution of a nonmotorized wheeled vehicle safety education curriculum.”

 § 43-1-120. Bicycle and pedestrian policy--codification--legislative declaration

(1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(a) It is in the best interest of all Coloradans to promote transportation mode choice by enhancing safety and mobility for bicyclists and pedestrians on or along the state highway system;

(b) The department has adopted a bike and pedestrian policy directive to further this goal; and

(c) It is necessary and appropriate to elevate the status of the bike and pedestrian policy of the department to that of law by codifying it in subsection (2) of this section.

(2)(a) The department and its subdivisions shall provide transportation infrastructure that accommodates bicycle and pedestrian use of public streets in a manner that is safe and reliable for all users of public streets;

(b) The needs of bicyclists and pedestrians shall be included in the planning, design, and operation of transportation facilities as a matter of routine; and

(c) Any decision of the department to not accommodate the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians shall be documented based on exemption criteria that were established by the commission before the decision was made.

Added by Laws 2010, Ch. 422, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

Contract, pursuant to section 24-50-504(2)(b), C.R.S., with a person, corporation, or entity for any elements of the administration of the program created by this paragraph (c).

(3) All agencies and political subdivisions of the state shall have the right to make a claim on the search and rescue fund for reimbursement of costs incurred in the performance of search and rescue activities involving those persons specified in subsection (1) of this section. Such claims shall be submitted to the department of local affairs for immediate consideration. Any reimbursement claims which have been certified by the sheriff of the county in which the search and rescue activity occurred shall be eligible for payment by the department of local affairs. The department of local affairs shall establish rules for the procedure through which claims shall be submitted and for payment of such claims.

(4) The search and rescue fund created in subsection (1) of this section shall be the sole source of funds for the reimbursement of costs incurred under this section in search and rescue activities involving those persons specified in subsection (1) of this 

 § 18-9-116. Throwing missiles at vehicles--harassment of bicyclists

(1) Any person who knowingly projects any missile at or against any vehicle or equipment designed for the transportation of persons or property, other than a bicycle, commits a class 1 petty offense.

(2) Any person who knowingly projects any missile at or against a bicyclist commits a class 2 misdemeanor.

(3) As used in this section, “missile” means any object or substance.

CREDIT(S)

Amended by Laws 1977, H.B.1654, § 57; Laws 2009, Ch. 239, § 7, eff. Aug. 5, 2009.