COLORADO- STATEWIDE – On June 4th at 3 pm, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched its newest pedestrian and bicyclist safety social media campaign. In 2017, pedestrian and bicycle fatalities were at an all-time high. Of the 646 traffic fatalities in 2017, 109 of those fatalities involved a pedestrian or a bicyclist. Almost 17% of fatalities on Colorado roads involved a pedestrian or a bicyclist.
In 2018, 11 pedestrians and 3 bicyclists have lost their lives on Colorado roadways thus far. “Safety Starts With All of Us” encourages Coloradans and Colorado visitors to educate themselves on safety precautions one can take to ensure that all road users are as safe as possible and prevent tragedy. With an increase in car, bicycle and foot traffic on Colorado roads, especially in the summer months, CDOT hopes to lower traffic collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists. Every life on the road is important, and encouraging drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to have each other’s backs is key to this campaign.
“Tragically, pedestrians are being injured and killed by vehicles at a higher rate than ever before across the nation, and I’m afraid we are seeing the same trend in our local communities. Unfortunately, even if crossing in a crosswalk, you must make sure you are doing everything possible to protect yourself, which means it’s really up to you,” says Maile Gray, Executive Director of DRIVE SMART COLORADO Colorado Springs.
CDOT’s pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign launches just in time for Colorado Bike Month in June. With the warmer weather, one can expect to find foot and bicycle traffic to increase on Colorado roads. Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians can all take precautions to ensure everyone is safe on the road. Daily weekday Facebook and Twitter posts will appear including safety tips drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists can take to make sure everyone is safe on roads. The posts will also include surprising statistics on pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and quotes from organization leaders outside of CDOT. In addition to these posts, CDOT also plans on sending flyers to community outreach and information centers.
“We are not bikes and cars on the roads – we’re people. We need people driving to obey posted speed limits and focus only on driving, especially where pedestrians and bicyclists are present. We need bicyclists to ride predictably. We need to all be respectful of the shared space on our roads,” says Amy Morfas, Deputy Director of Bicycle Colorado.
Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities are an increasing problem in Colorado. Safety Starts With All of Us aims to educate or re-educate pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers on tips they can take to avoid traffic collisions that are caused because people simply do not know the rules of the road.
For more information about Colorado’s pedestrian and bicycle laws, visit the CDOT website.