CRS 42-4-709 is the Colorado statute that makes it a traffic offense for a driver to stop a motor vehicle in a crosswalk, intersection, or on a railroad crossing. A violation of this law is a class A traffic infraction.
The statute says, “no driver shall enter an intersection or a marked crosswalk or drive onto any railroad grade crossing unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection, crosswalk, or railroad grade crossing to accommodate the vehicle the driver is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles, pedestrians, or railroad trains…”
Examples of unlawful acts
- driving into a crosswalk without sufficient space in front to clear it.
- entering a railroad crossing while blocked in front by traffic.
- steering into an intersection with nowhere to go because of other cars.
A driver can contest a charge under this statute with a legal defense. A few common defenses include an accused showing that:
- there was no intersection, crosswalk, or railroad crossing,
- traffic in front of the accused was moving, and/or
- there was an emergency.
A violation of this law is charged as a class A infraction. This is opposed to a:
A violator will receive:
- a $70 fine, and
- points on his/her driver’s license.
Our Colorado personal injury lawyers will highlight the following in this article:
- 1. What is an offense under CRS 42-4-709?
- 2. Are there defenses to challenge a charge?
- 3. What are the penalties?
- 4. Can violating this statute result in other charges?
- 5. Does a violation affect a personal injury lawsuit?
- 6. Are there laws related to this statute?
1. What is an offense under CRS 42-4-709?
According to Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-709, it is a traffic violation for a driver to stop his/her motor vehicle in a:
- intersection, or
- railroad crossing.
In particular, the statute prohibits motorists from entering a crosswalk, intersection, or crossing unless there is sufficient space on the other side to accommodate the vehicle.1
2. Are there defenses to challenge a charge?
Traffic lawyers can turn to several legal strategies to contest an improper stopping charge. Some of the most common include showing that:
- there was no intersection, crosswalk, or railroad crossing.
- the traffic in front of the accused was moving forward.
- there was an emergency.
2.1 No intersection, crosswalk, or railroad crossing
These laws only apply to a motorist stopping in an intersection, crosswalk, or railroad crossing. This means that, as a defense, a driver can always try to show that while he stopped his/her car, it was not in one of these areas.
2.2 Traffic was moving
Recall that a driver is only guilty of improper stopping if there was not sufficient space in front of an intersection, crosswalk, or railroad crossing to accommodate his/her vehicle. A defense, then, is for the driver to show that:
- the traffic in front of his/her car was moving, and
- as a result, there was sufficient space.
A motorist can always challenge a charge by showing that an emergency prevented him/her from complying with the law. Perhaps, for example, a driver had to stop in a crosswalk to allow an emergency vehicle to pass.
3. What are the penalties?
A person that breaks this law is charged with a class A traffic infraction.2
The offense is punishable by:
- a $70 fine (plus applicable surcharges), and
- points placed on the motorist’s driver’s license.
Note that the Colorado DMV can suspend a person’s license if he/she get a certain amount of points in a given time period.3
4. Can violating this statute result in other charges?
A violation of this statute can lead to other charges.
Once police officers have probable cause that a driver committed an offense, they can then charge/arrest the person for that infraction or crime.
This means that once law enforcement stop a motorist for improper stopping, they can also charge that person with any other offense (e.g., DUI) for which they have probable cause the driver committed.
5. Does a violation affect a personal injury lawsuit?
A violation can affect a personal injury lawsuit.
Improper stopping can lead a court to find that the motorist was negligent per se in a personal injury action.
This could mean that the driver would have to compensate a person for any injuries that he/she may have caused.
6. Are there laws related to this statute?
There are three laws related to this statute. These are:
- driving through a safety zone – CRS 42-4-806,
- turning left in front of oncoming traffic – CRS 42-4-702, and
- no license plate – CRS 42-3-202.
6.1 Driving through a safety zone – CRS 42-4-806
CRS 42-4-806 is the Colorado statute that makes it is a traffic offense for any motorist to drive through a safety zone. A “safety zone” is essentially a clearly marked area set aside for the use of pedestrians.
6.2 Turning left in front of oncoming traffic – CRS 42-4-702
CRS 42-4-702 is the Colorado traffic regulation that makes it an offense if:
- a driver is intending to make a left turn at an intersection, and
- fails to yield the right-of-way to any vehicles coming in the opposite direction.
6.3 No license plate – CRS 42-3-202
CRS 42-3-202 is the Colorado traffic law that makes it a class B infraction for a driver to fail to attach a front and rear license plate to a vehicle.
For additional help…
For additional guidance or to discuss your case with a Colorado traffic attorney, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.
- CRS 42-4-709
- See same.
- See, e.g., Colorado Department of Revenue website, “Point Suspensions.”