Improper Mountain Highway Driving
Many Colorado residents and visitors thoroughly enjoy all that Colorado has to offer in the mountains. Whether your preference is horseback riding, snowmobiling, skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, or a multitude of other activities, chances are you are probably going to need road transportation at some point to get where you’re going in the mountains.
Whether the road conditions are dry or extremely slick from ice, drivers must travel through the mountains cautiously to avoid an accident. Many hazards exist such as ice, snow, other drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and wildlife just to name a few.
Colorado has a special statute that is often charged in many of the mountain counties called Improper Mountain Driving. It basically says that a driver of a motor vehicle that is traveling through mountain highways, canyons, or “defiles” shall drive the vehicle under control and as near to the right-hand edge of the highway as possible. Additionally, except when driving entirely to the right of the center of the road, the person is supposed to honk his horn upon approaching a curve in the road where the view is obstructed by 200 feet of distance.
Also on narrow mountain roads with a 6 percent or more grade, vehicles going up the roadway have the right of way over vehicles going down the roadway. An exception for this is when it is more practicable for the vehicle traveling up the roadway to return to a “turnout”.
Improper Mountain Driving is a three (3) point traffic violation. This charge is popular amongst the Colorado State Patrol when there is an accident on a mountain road. Equally as popular is Careless Driving, a four (4) point misdemeanor traffic offense.
A driver is entitled to a jury trial in a Careless Driving Charge, whereas a driver is only entitled to a court trial to contest the charge in an Improper Mountain Driving case. Both charges are very subjective and it’s important to speak with experienced counsel before ever considering pleading guilty to the charge. Because the charges are so subjective and each fact pattern is unique, there are often many ways to fight the case.
If you’ve been charged with Improper Mountain Highway Driving or Careless Driving anywhere in Colorado, contact Attorney Monte Robbins today for a free case evaluation at 303-355-5148.