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New laws involving cell phone use while driving go into effect in Colorado tomorrow banning texting for all drivers and cell phone use for drivers under 18.

The new law will make it a primary traffic offense, which gives law enforcement the authority to cite any driver seen texting while driving. And it’s illegal for 16 and 17-year-olds to use a cell phone – even with a speakerphone or headset – while behind the wheel.

For an initial offense, drivers can be fined $50. Repeat offenders will be fined $100.

Unlike some new laws that allow for a grace period to help educate drivers about the new law before citations are issued – officers with Fort Collins police and the Colorado State Patrol will be handing out citations immediately upon the law taking effect, according to spokespersons from each agency.

The legislation was introduced after 9-year-old Erica Forney was hit and fatally injured Nov. 25, 2008, by a woman who police said had just finished talking on a cell phone.

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