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In Colorado, cyclists can be charged with reckless driving

If you think Colorado's reckless-driving law only applies to those behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you would be very wrong.

In fact, this particular law is much broader than many people know. For example, it not only applies to motorists, but also to anyone riding a bike, an electrical assisted bicycle or a low-power scooter -- but only if they are doing so in a "manner as to indicate either a wanton or a willful disregard for the safety of persons or property."

The penalties

So, what are the penalties if you are cited for reckless driving while riding your bike? Well, they are largely the same as if you were driving your car. Indeed, reckless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense in Colorado, regardless of whether you were on your bike or in your car. Possible penalties include:

  • First offense: A fine ranging from $150 to $300, and/or a jail sentence ranging from 10 days to 90 days
  • Second offense: A fine ranging from $50 to $1,000, and/or a jail sentence ranging from 10 days to six months

However, there is one very important difference between a reckless driving citation issued to someone on a bike versus one issued to someone driving a car: no points will be added to their driving record.

Specifically, a person convicted a reckless driving while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle will have 8 points added to their Colorado DMV driving record, while a person convicted of reckless driving while riding their bike (or operating an electrical assisted bicycle) will not.

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