[Driving Colorado. Photo: Mitchell Joyce] If you plan on taking a trip to Colorado that involves driving, it’s a good idea to do some research on the traffic laws in The Centennial State. Doing so can go a long way in better ensuring you don’t take home a traffic ticket as a souvenir.
By learning these you’ll save time wondering and be safer. Here are a few rules of the road and traffic laws to keep in mind.
Pay Attention to the Stop Lines
Cities like Denver have white stop lines at intersections. Make sure you come to a stop behind the line; they’re not there for decoration. Major metropolitan areas have a lot of pedestrians, and they deserve to have every inch of the crosswalk to safely and lawfully cross the street. Another reason to make sure you come to a stop behind the white line is that there could be a camera waiting to capture your infraction.
One-Way Left Turn on Red
Depending on the driving laws in your state, you may not be permitted to make a left turn on red onto a one-way street. Making a right turn on red is pretty standard, but know that you’re permitted to make a left turn on a red light in Colorado as long as you’re turning from a one-way road onto another one-way road. That said, look for signage that may indicate otherwise. Again, you don’t want to have a camera take a snapshot of your misdeeds.
Narrow Mountain Roadways
Perhaps you plan on traveling up to the beautiful mountains while in Colorado. If you come to a narrow, steep mountain roadway, you need to know what to do if you encounter a vehicle driving in the opposite direction. The vehicle that’s traveling down the roadway has to yield to the vehicle going uphill.
No Cell Phones for Young Drivers
If you’re traveling with your teenage son or daughter who doesn’t mind driving during the trip, bear in mind the fact that anyone under 18 driving in Colorado cannot use a cell phone while behind the wheel, no matter if it’s talking and texting. While this should go for every driver no matter her or his age, it’s especially important to keep in mind for those under the age of 18.
Don’t Merge If It Means the Flow of Traffic Has To Slow Down
When it comes to merging on the highway, all oncoming vehicles have the right of way. Only merge when you can do so without slowing down the flow of traffic. This is another instance where you can easily cause an accident or road rage.
Using the Left Lane
You’ve likely heard of this one, but it most certainly bears repeating, no matter which state you’re visiting. While driving on the highway, it’s best to stick to the right lane and the right lane only if you aren’t passing the car in front of you. Use the left lane to pass, but otherwise, pretend it’s not even there as you make your way to your destination.
What IS the left lane law? We found out from the Colorado State Patrol above.
Road rage and accidents are almost inevitable when motorists linger longer in the left lane than absolutely necessary. Safely pass the car (or cars) in front of you and dip back into the right lane as soon as you can.
Hopefully, knowing these laws help make your trip to Colorado safer and more enjoyable. There’s a lot to see and do, just make sure you drive the right way to do and see everything you desire without incident.