Most fatal crashes in Colorado occur during the three-month span between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is working to combat this serious issue with increased safety enforcement and outreach as a key component of its Whole System–Whole Safety initiative. CDOT will start by joining forces with Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies in the Summer Blitz DUI enforcement period to apprehend impaired drivers and protect motorists on Colorado roadways. The enforcement period extends from June 14 to June 24.
“More cars on the road, more impaired drivers, and an increase in motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians are all factors that contribute to the spike in motor vehicle fatalities seen during the summer months,” said Shoshana Lew, Executive Director of CDOT. “Impaired drivers pose an entirely preventable risk to our transportation network, making DUI enforcement a key component as we aim to reduce deaths and injuries on Colorado roads.”
Last year’s Summer Blitz enforcement period resulted in 584 DUI arrests from 109 agencies across the state. This year’s enforcement period will include 97 law enforcement agencies, who will use increased patrols to ensure that motorists are safe on the road.
“CSP and other law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for impaired drivers during this enforcement period,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the CSP. “Driving impaired is never worth the risk of endangering life, including your own. Enjoy summer, but make sure you are sober, focused and buckled up every time you get behind the wheel.”
The Summer Blitz enforcement will be followed by four additional DUI enforcement periods spread throughout the summer, aimed at keeping drivers aware of their consumption and off of the road when impaired. CDOT will also focus on rural Colorado for the July Click It or Ticket summer seat belt enforcement campaign. A seat belt is the single best defense drivers and passengers have to protect themselves from an impaired or distracted driver. Rural residents will be asked to find their reason to buckle up and stay safe throughout summer.
The CDOT Highway Safety Office funds Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year, with 15 specific high-visibility impaired driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. Find more details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips at HeatIsOnColorado.com.
Whole System – Whole Safety
To heighten safety awareness, CDOT recently announced its “Whole System – Whole Safety” initiative. This project takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment, and the organization’s operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving safety conditions for those traveling by all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission – to get everyone home safely.
CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees throughout Colorado and manages over 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.
For more information on CDOT’s efforts this summer, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips, visithttps://www.codot.gov/safety.