Colorado Laws You Should Know

Colorado Laws Tourists Need to Know

Every state and country differ regarding law variances, and Colorado laws are no exception. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the local laws as part of your vacation planning. The time you spend understanding local laws affecting how you explore, have fun, and drive; is well spent.

Colorado Laws Regarding Outdoor Activity

One of the biggest draws of visiting Colorado is the abundance of outdoor activities. Before you begin your adventure, it's best to check out relevant laws. 

Colorado Ski Lawscolorado law justice

Colorado is famous for its world-class ski resorts. One important law to know about is regarding ski helmets: Colorado requires all children under 17 to wear helmets while skiing or snowboarding. This law is aimed at reducing the number of head injuries sustained by young skiers and snowboarders.

Another ski-related law in Colorado is the Ski Safety Act, which acknowledges the risks and dangers of skiing and snowboarding. The law outlines the responsibilities of skiers, snowboarders, and ski resorts. It declares that ski resort operators are not immune from liability and can be sued if their negligence results in an injury. Under § 33–44–111, C.R.S., injured skiers have up to two years after the incident to file a claim for negligent maintenance, supervision, or operation of a ski area. This law is aimed at encouraging safety and reducing the number of accidents that occur on ski slopes.

Colorado Trail Laws - Hiking, Biking

Colorado is home to many beautiful hiking trails, but knowing the laws governing hiking is important. Hikers must stay on designated trails, and damaging or removing plants, rocks, or other natural resources is illegal. Multi-use trails have rules such as controlling your speed on a bicycle, make your approach known before passing, and, if you are being passed, yielding to that faster bicyclist or hiker. Never leave a trace on the trails, and don’t spook the animals who live there.

Trespassing laws are also important to remember when hiking. You should only explore designated public lands because hiking on private property without permission is illegal in Colorado. Also, remember that Colorado has strict littering laws prohibiting the dumping of trash and other waste materials in public areas. Always dispose of trash in designated bins to keep the environment clean and avoid a $1,000 fine.

While exploring the trails, you may notice that Colorado is home to various wildlife. Respecting their habitats and behaviors is important, and feeding or approaching wildlife is illegal. Keep a safe distance from animals such as bears and mountain lions. More about Colorado wildlife regulations.

Dog Tethering Law

Colorado has a law that limits the amount of time that a dog can be tethered outside. Dogs cannot be tethered for more than 12 hours in 24 hours, and the tether must be at least 10 feet long.

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Colorado Driving & Traffic Laws

If you plan to drive in Colorado, ensure you’re up-to-date on the local driving and traffic laws. Being prepared to drive in Colorado is a good idea, as mountain driving is dangerous in even the best conditions.

Colorado Seatbelt & Car Seat Laws

Colorado has strict seat belt laws that require all passengers to wear a seat belt while in a moving vehicle. Failure to comply with these laws can result in a fine of $65.

Colorado has strict child car seat laws that require children under the age of 8 to be in a car seat or booster seat. The child's exact age will determine whether they should be rear-facing or facing forward. Make sure to follow these laws to ensure the safety of your child.

Cell Phone Laws

Texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving in Colorado is illegal. Adult drivers are only allowed to use hands-free devices while driving and can wear headphones in one ear. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from texting or making phone calls while driving. Minors are subject to a $50 fine for their first offense, and adults are subject to a $300 fine.

Right of Way & Turn Signal Laws

Colorado law requires drivers to yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists. When approaching a crosswalk or intersection, be sure to watch for pedestrians and bicyclists and yield to them if necessary. Colorado law also requires drivers to use turn signals when turning or changing lanes. Failure to use your turn signal can result in a fine.

Alcohol, Drug, & Weapon Laws

Many Colorado visitors like to have fun by drinking, smoking, or gambling. All of these things are allowed, but each has rules and exceptions. Learn more about local alcohol and marijuana laws before you partake. If you are planning a party, we recommend that you consider Summit County Brewery Tour Company. They are pros at showing you a good time and getting you home safe and sound.

Have Fun and Know Colorado Laws 

The best Colorado vacation is the one where you take home fond memories. Knowing a few basics about Colorado Laws will help you keep it safe and ensure your vacation in Colorado is quality time. With so many high-energy and fun activities in Colorado, it's easy to get overly enthusiastic. Colorado specializes in providing wonderful outdoor experiences and looks forward to having you back. Keeping it safe in Colorado means more fun ahead. Please explore all of the Free Vacation Guides and request a copy.

by Sharon Feldman

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