CDOT Launches Unprecedented Motorcycle Safety Campaign

May 8, 2013 - Traffic Safety - Campaign Reminds Riders: Choose To Ride with Gear to Save a Life.

STATEWIDE — Motorcycle crashes killed 82 riders and passengers on Colorado’s roads last year and over two-thirds of those killed (69%) were not wearing a helmet, so the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is reminding riders they have a choice to wear gear to prevent deadly crashes.

May marks Motorcycle Safety Month in Colorado, just in time for the launch of CDOT’s motorcycle safety and public awareness campaign which runs through the end of August and is targeted to young motorcycle riders, ages 18-34, because these riders have most potential to influence future generations of riders to choose to wear gear. The new campaign will focus on increasing rider awareness of the dangers and consequences of not wearing gear, as well as empowering all riders to choose to gear up for safety.

“There are four things that substantially enhance rider safety and decrease vulnerability for motorcycle riders: getting trained, getting licensed, wearing proper gear and riding sober,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT.  “This new campaign focusses on younger motorcycle riders because they are the ones who can help set the precedent for future generations of riders by showing them that wearing gear is not only imperative to protect them from very serious or even gruesome injuries in the event of a crash; motorcycle gear now comes in a variety of types and styles and it can make a statement in terms of their own personality.”

To illustrate the idea that wearing gear makes you look cooler than not wearing gear, CDOT took a new approach this year by partnering with production company, OneFloorUp, to create a two-minute video that shows a time-lapse makeover of a rider to reveal what a crash survivor would look like if they didn’t wear gear. The video features Cody Carson, 25 year-old experienced Colorado motorcycle rider, receiving a “crashed” makeover from professional makeup artist, Maryann Williams. The makeup depicts the most common injuries seen by crash victims not wearing gear, including deep abrasions, face fractures and burns, according to Dr.Pat Offner, trauma physician at a local Denver hospital.

“I don’t always wear my helmet and gear if I am riding just around the corner to the grocery store, said Cody. “But after seeing myself in the mirror made up with crash injuries, it was a reality check—now I know I would rather choose to be hot in my helmet over facing the physical and emotional damages caused by a crash.”

In addition to this video that will be shared online across social media sites including YouTube and CDOT’s website, the campaign features online web banners, print ads in motorcycle enthusiast publications, and posters in biker-friendly bars and restaurants all aimed at encouraging riders to make the choice to wear gear every time they ride, no matter the distance.

“CDOT has never created anything like this video before,” remarked Lingk. “Rather than telling riders to wear gear, this campaign emphasizes that riders have a choice; after seeing this video we hope that the message will become loud and clear that wearing gear is a better alternative to sustaining injuries and risking their life.”

Overall motorcycle fatalities are up slightly from 78 in 2011 to 82 in 2012. Weld County recorded the highest number of motorcycle fatalities last year, a significant jump in fatalities from 4 in 2011 to 11 in 2012. El Paso County also saw 11 fatalities with Jefferson and Boulder Counties ranking among the next highest counties with 8 and 7 fatalities respectively.

For more information, visit To view the video visit