These are all of the Transportation bills proposed in the 2018 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, pros, and cons are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium and Minor. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!).

HB18-1016: Honor the Service of the Seabees

Creates a Seabees license plate which requires two one-time fees of $25, one goes to highway fund one goes to licensing services fund. Only available for honorably discharged, retired, active duty, or reserve member of a construction battalion of the US Navy.

Pros

This honors the contributions of Naval construction battalions, who provided essential engineering and construction services all over the world prior to and during combat since World War II.

Cons

We have too many special license plates and should not add more.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1016

HB18-1018: Human Trafficking Commercial Driver's License

Bill requires that training to obtain a commercial driver’s license include education to prevent human trafficking.

Pros

Human trafficking frequently involves commercial shipping elements, so it makes sense to include prevention training for those looking to obtain a commercial driver’s license. If even one licensee learns something that helps prevent trafficking, it will be time well spent.

Cons

No one needs to be told that human trafficking is bad and anyone with a commercial license who doesn’t understand that they are shipping people is not likely to be enlightened with further training. Those who do know are doing it willingly and again unlikely to have their minds changed through training.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1018

HB18-1072: Red Light Camera Repeal

Repeals the authority for any entity in the state to use automated vehicle identification systems (including red light cameras) to identify traffic violations and issue citations.

Pros

This is pure money grab for cities and counties, including things like issuing citations for merely stopping beyond the white line. Colorado Springs ended its program after the evidence showed it did nothing to improve safety. Colorado would join other states in banning the practice.

Cons

It is strange to hear people arguing that we should not use all means necessary to stop people from breaking traffic laws. If we want to fix the system to correct abuses, fine, but the idea that we should ignore if someone is speeding or running a red light because there isn’t an actual police officer present is wrong. Automated traffic systems help catch people breaking traffic laws. If people don’t want to get tickets for running a red light or for speeding, then don’t break the law. It’s simple, fix any abuses and keep catching people driving unsafely.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1072

HB18-1103: Local Government Off-Highway Vehicle Regulation

Clarifies that local governments can require a driver of an off-highway vehicle to follow regulations such as seatbelts, child restraint systems (if the vehicle is designed for it), eye protection, helmets, and occupant restrictions when driving on roads opened to off-highway vehicles.

Pros

Recreational vehicle use is prevalent in the state and many of these vehicles come in close proximity with motor vehicles, which has led local communities to issue some safety restrictions. Without this law, these restrictions are not consistent with state

Cons

These are rules the state should set itself, for public safety, not leave it up to municipalities.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1103

HB18-1119: Highway Building & Maintenance Funding

Similar to SB 001, this would put a statewide ballot initiative on November 2018 ballot authorizing the Department of Transportation to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) for $3.5 billion with maximum repayment amount of $5 billion and would repeal the section of SB 267 from last session that required state treasurer to execute lease-purchase agreements on state buildings to fund roads. TRANs were used in 1999 for a similar purpose.

The bill also requires 7.5% of state sales and use tax funds go to the state highway fund and used for TRANs payments first (instead of 10% in other bill). Any leftover money must be spent on Tier 1 (highest priority) projects, with projects requiring to start within 3 years. There are no stipulations about rural spending or transit.

Pros

The state is desperately behind in funding its roads. Most state-wide road funding comes from the gas tax, which has not been raised in years, thus falling behind in inflationary terms, and has shrunk from increasing fuel efficiencies. The Department of Transportation estimates an annual shortfall of $1 billion right now, and the state is expected to see continued growth. This bill puts hundreds of millions of dollars a year into transportation and follows the successful model of 1999 to jumpstart funding while making sure smaller counties and transit projects are not left out and saves the state money by replacing the lease-purchase structure. The general fund dollars that pay for it are already going to have to come out, that is the result of bill 267 last year that setup these lease-purchase agreements. So any “cut” is not new to this bill.

Cons

While it is true the state faces large transportation funding problems, this bill does little to address it. It does not raise any new revenues and instead pumps a one-off amount of money into the system by taking revenue from the state’s general fund, $224 million worth of revenue every year. That $224 million is going to come out of some combination of schools, higher education, health care, and prisons. There is no bond measure without the $224 million cut to education, health care, and other parts of the state budget. Colorado schools are already owed $830 million dollars by the state. There isn’t room to slash more and the legislature should look to fix the cuts made by 267 last year, not alter their mechanics. This bill also completely ignores transit as a priority: we are adding too many people to this state to solve our transportation problems through roads alone.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1119

HB18-1188: Electronic Data Transportation Infrastructure

Authorizes the Colorado department of transportation to use highway infrastructure technology to communicate with motor vehicles to facilitate or manage traffic. Currently a search warrant would be required first.

Pros

Smart highways are part of the solution to our traffic problems, we simply cannot just keep building wider and wider roads. This allows CDOT to use any smart highway solutions that require communicating with cars to determine traffic flows.

Cons

This represents a state encroachment on privacy and could be unconstitutional under the 4th amendment.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1188

HB18-1191: Local Government Alter Speed Limits

Adds to what local governments must consider before increasing or decreasing speed limits. Currently they must conduct a traffic investigation. This bill would also require consideration of road characteristics, current and future development, environmental factors, parking factors, pedestrian and bicycle activity, and crash statistics.

Pros

It makes sense that speed limits to be about more than just traffic flows and this bill addresses that

Cons

Local governments already have a handle on all of these other factors when they make these decisions, we don't need to add a bunch more red tape to what amounts to a fairly easy decision.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1191

HB18-1204: Financial Responsibility Drivers Motor Vehicles

Repeals the state’s motorist insurance database. If a person drives without insurance (and is caught obviously) the penalty becomes $250 fee each year for three years unless they prepay for 6 months of insurance, then drops to $125. Fee is waived if individual is under 130% of the poverty line and they prepay for 6 months of insurance. Surcharge of $4,000 if the violation occurs in connection with an accident that causes serious bodily injury. Not paying the fees results in losing your driver’s license. Fees go to highway fund.

Pros

Currently you lose your license immediately for driving without insurance until you can prove you have insurance. This allows people to still drive but gives the state some restitution and should provide a stronger deterrent to driving without insurance. Because let’s face it, if you’re going to drive without insurance, you might drive on a suspended license too.

Cons

Repealing the database is going to make it harder to find people driving un-insured, not easier.  Driving without a license is a misdemeanor crime, if the possibility of losing your license and risking getting caught isn’t enough, fines aren’t going to do the trick.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1204

HB18-1244: Honor the Service of Submarine Veterans

Creates a submarine veterans state license plate which requires two one-time fees of $25 and an honorably discharged, retired, reserve, or active duty member of a submarine crew of the US navy.

Pros

This honors the contributions of all those who have served on submarines.

Cons

We have too many special license plates and should not add more.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1244

SB 18-001: Transportation Infrastructure Funding

Would put a statewide ballot initiative on November 2018 ballot authorizing the Department of Transportation to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) for $3.5 billion with maximum repayment amount of $5 billion and would repeal the section of SB 267 from last session that required state treasurer to execute lease-purchase agreements on state buildings to fund roads. TRANs were used in 1999 for a similar purpose.

The bill also requires 10% of state sales and use tax funds go to the state highway fund and used for TRANs payments first. Any leftover money must be spent on Tier 1 (highest priority) projects, with at least 25% in counties with populations of less than 50,000. At least 10% of the funds must be spent on transit.

Pros

The state is desperately behind in funding its roads. Most state-wide road funding comes from the gas tax, which has not been raised in years, thus falling behind in inflationary terms, and has shrunk from increasing fuel efficiencies. The Department of Transportation estimates an annual shortfall of $1 billion right now, and the state is expected to see continued growth. This bill puts hundreds of millions of dollars a year into transportation and follows the successful model of 1999 to jumpstart funding while making sure smaller counties and transit projects are not left out and saves the state money by replacing the lease-purchase structure. The general fund dollars that pay for it are already going to have to come out, that is the result of bill 267 last year that setup these lease-purchase agreements. So any “cut” is not new to this bill.

Cons

While it is true the state faces large transportation funding problems, this bill does little to address it. It does not raise any new revenues and instead pumps a one-off amount of money into the system by taking revenue from the state’s general fund, $298 million worth of revenue every year. That $298 million is going to come out of some combination of schools, higher education, health care, and prisons. There is no bond measure without the $298 million cut to education, health care, and other parts of the state budget. Colorado schools are already owed $830 million dollars by the state. There isn’t room to slash more and the legislature should look to fix the cuts made by 267 last year, not alter their mechanics.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-001

SB18-028: Motor Vehicle License Plate Mounting Requirements

Repeals requirement that front license plate be at approximate center and at least 12 inches from the ground.

PASSED SENATE

Pros

Having the rear license plate in the standard position is sufficient, this front license plate must still be clearly visible and legible. Some cars don’t have the front license plate position, so this frees car owners to put the plate where they would like, potentially on the dashboard.

Cons

Non-uniformity means plates are harder to spot in fast-moving situations (like driving). If we are going to require front license plates, we should require they all be in the same spot so law enforcement can easily see them.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-028

SB18-046: Special License Plate Nonprofit Donation

Several laws require a donation to a nonprofit organization to qualify for a special license plate. This bill authorizes nonprofit organizations to increase by $10 the minimum donation required for issuance of a special license plate. In July 2019 the amount can start to be adjusted for inflation.

PASSED SENATE

Pros

Allows nonprofits to collect more money in exchange for opportunity to use these plates, which is the whole point of the program.

Cons

May actually lead to less purchases of these plates if the prices keep going up every year.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-046

SB18-047: Repeal Tax Credits Innovative Vehicles

Repeals income tax credits for innovative motor vehicles after 2018 and sends the money to the state highway fund through 2021.

Pros

Colorado desperately needs money for its roads and innovative motor vehicles no longer need the tax credit (if they ever did, government should not be picking winners and losers). While this isn’t a large amount of money, it is money that does not have to come from raising taxes or raiding the general fund.

Cons

Innovative motor vehicles remain one of the best ways for us to mitigate climate change. The more people we can get into them the better off we will all be. All new industries take time to get their manufacturing costs down and electric cars and their like are no different. While prices have come down, it’s not time yet to remove the tax incentives.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-047

SB18-049:Use Of Mobile Electronic Devices While Driving

Current law prohibits use of wireless telephones while driving for those under 18. This bill extends the prohibition to drivers of all ages and increases the definition to all mobile electronic devices. It creates an exemption for hands-free usage, keeps the emergency exemption, and increases the penalty for minor drivers from $50 to $300.

*This legislation has been sent to the Senate “Kill” committee, State Affairs*

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

Driving while using a mobile device has been shown to be as dangerous as driving drunk. There is no reason adults should be allowed to engage in this activity either. Hands-free usage exemptions allow us to still make use of our phones, almost all of which now feature digital assistants like Siri that can take dictation.

Cons

Mobile phones are an integral part of our lives and the government should not be nanny stating them out during specified times or activities. Drivers are more than capable of using them properly without becoming distracted and those who do should not be punished because there are some people who cannot.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-049

SB18-053: Primary Offense for No Safety Belt

Extends requirement to wear a safety belt to every passenger in a motor vehicle (currently it only applies to front seat passengers). The bill also allows police to stop and cite someone for not wearing a belt (currently they can only cite for not wearing a belt if they stopped the driver for a different alleged traffic violation).

*This legislation has been sent to the Senate “Kill” committee, State Affairs*

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

The backseat is still a dangerous place to be unbelted in an accident. This merely logically extends existing law to cover the entire car. Seat belts save lives every day and every year someone dies a death that could have been prevented by a seat belt. It is common sense that we should extend the requirement to everyone in the car and common sense that if this is a traffic violation, police can stop someone for it.

Cons

This is the nanny state in action. While we all agree that everyone should wear a seat beat, we also all agree about a host of other actions that are better for the health of citizens yet we do not have government laws coercing people into doing them. Not wearing a seat belt does not harm any other individual, so there is no duty to protect others from one person’s foolishness. This ability to stop someone for not wearing a belt (or more accurately, the suspicion of it) also gives police another excuse to pull someone over for no reason. They can claim they thought the driver or passenger was not wearing a belt.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-053

SB18-073: Report Transfer Ownership Motor Vehicle

Today if you sell your car you still retain all liability until the buyer goes and registers the vehicle. If the buyer never registers the vehicle, all liabilities (crimes, road tolls, etc.) still is the responsibility of the seller. This bill allows the buyer to register the title change and thus remove all liability from the vehicle. It instructs the state to make this information available to motor vehicle owners and to implement this in a manner that doesn’t cost additional money.

PASSED SENATE

Pros

Most residents are unaware of the liability issue that currently exists. This bill fixes that problem through both education and a way for the buyer themselves to remove the liability.

Cons

There may be some confusion factor related to both the buyer and the seller attempting to register the title change.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-073

SB18-077: State Sales Tax Exemption for Used Motor Vehicles

Creates a state sales and use tax exemption for used motor vehicles. Currently the state collects these taxes after each transfer. Leased vehicles would still be subject to sales and use taxes.

Pros

Over time, motor vehicles may have many owners and the state collects these taxes each time the motor vehicle is transferred. These taxes make it harder for those most likely to buy used cars, working families, to afford one. A car is still a significant source of job mobility and this bill gives more families better access to affording one.

Cons

Since taxes are percentages and based in this case on the purchase price, a cheap used car is only going to add a small amount to the price. In aggregate this could mean a larger drop in revenue for the state and local governments which is not replaced by anything else.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-077

SB18-078: Exempt Old Vehicles From Some Registration Charges

Currently motor vehicles older than ten years carry an additional registration fee and a road safety surcharge. This bill caps these additional fees at 30 years, so that cars 30 years old or older do not face these fees.

Pros

Vehicles older than 30 years aren’t meant to be driven on roads all the time, they are special interest vehicles with value to collectors. These charges aren’t designed for them and are an unfair extra charge facing an older vehicle enthusiast.

Cons

These fees are designed for reason: older cars are less safe than newer cars and require more work from the state’s registration board. In fact, the older the car is, the more these two things become true. So putting an upper limit on this does not make sense, if anything much older cars should be charged more. If you have a car registered in the state you can drive it, it is not up to the state to determine who is simply collecting cars and who is putting less safe vehicles on the road (collector cars are also driven from time-to-time). This also takes money out of the state highway fund (though not much of course) which is severely underfunded.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-078

SB18-108: Eligibility Colorado Road and Community Safety Act

Allows someone to present a social security number instead of a taxpayer identification card to obtain a driver’s license (this applies to one of the requirements for someone who is not lawfully present in the country obtaining a driver’s license). Also allows the license to be reissued or renewed or replaced if it is lost or stolen in the same manner as any other driver’s license.

Pros

The reason for issuing these licenses has not changed and is much the same reason that many cities do not operate as federal immigration agents: we want everyone living in this state, legally or illegally, to abide by state laws and most importantly, report any crimes to the police. In the case of driver’s licenses, you of course need a license to purchase car insurance, which we want everyone on the road to have. There are some here illegally who have a social security card and thus never got a taxpayer identification card (this is a card designed for illegals who do not have social security cards). We need to make sure they are covered in this section of the law.

Cons

We cannot as a functioning government of laws set up a bunch of laws relating to immigration and then build an entire structure devoted to making sure that people who are breaking these immigration laws are nice and comfortable here in the United States. Widening this sanctuary ID program makes it easier for illegals to stay in Colorado and that in turn makes it more likely illegals will come here. All of this stuff makes it harder for federal immigration agents to their job and get illegals out of this country.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-108

SB18-144: Bicycle Operation Approaching Intersection

Allow local entities to adopt regulations for bicyclists that allow them pass through stop signs at a reasonable speed as well as treat a red traffic light as a stop sign rather than wait for a green.

*This bill has been assigned to the Senate “kill” committee, state affairs*

PASSED SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

This regulation has been done at both local and state levels in the past with a resulting lack in uniformity as to standards. This fixes the standard for bicyclists if a community wants to treat them separately from cars and thus lets the entire public know what the rules are.

Cons

This may cut down on some confusion but it surely will not cut down on bike accidents by giving them the ability to share the road with cars but ignore the rules put there for safety. We don’t leave it up to the car’s driver to decide if they can go through a stop sign at 15 miles per hour or treat a red light like a stop sign if there is no traffic. Bicycles should be no different.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-144