Police hopeful this change could curb distracted driving in Colorado

Distracted driving. We've all seen it. perhaps we've been guilty of it.

GREENWOOD VILLAGE - Distracted driving: we've all seen it and perhaps, have been guilty of it.

In a recent study by Colorado's Department of Transportation, many folks admitted to doing it.

Police officers who deal with distracted drivers every day are giving a frank assessment about a problem they say is getting worse.

The Greenwood Village Police Department handles one of the busiest corridors in Colorado. From their perspective, Colorado drivers are some of the worst they've seen.

"You can almost at every time in Colorado, look over and see someone operating an electronic device," says Commander Eric Schmitt, who handles special operations with Greenwood Village Police. "They're focused on everything but their driving."

Whether it's talking, texting or checking emails, it seems drivers prefer their screens, over their safety. Police say they unfortunately see it all the time and in recent years, it has gotten worse, according to Comm. Schmitt.

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"When I pulled my stats, I was right at 50 percent of my accidents we could directly attribute to distracted driving," Schmitt said.

Why is Colorado one of the leaders in distracted driving? Police say, people here just don't seem to care about the law or the consequences.

"People just aren't listening yet and I think some of that is because they're just not taking it seriously," Schmitt says, "It has not affected them."

Colorado legislation tends to try to let drivers regulate themselves, which is one of the reasons why motorcycle riders still are not required to have helmets, according to Schmitt.

Colorado currently has a texting and driving bill on the table that would make drivers face harsher penalties. State senators passed the bill recently. It's not in the state house.

The bill would increase the penalty from $50 and one point on your license to $300 and 4 points.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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