Traffic Safety Champions Recognized at CDOT’s Annual Law Enforcement Awards Event

May 13, 2016 - Traffic Safety - Grand Junction – On May 11 the Colorado Department of Transportation recognized 19 individual law enforcement officers and 8 agencies across the region as Traffic Safety Champions.

The annual event focused on law enforcement efforts  to reduce impaired driving and increase the use of seat belts. Awards were presented to the Sheriff Office in Mesa County and police departments in Steamboat Springs, Parachute, Avon and Montrose. Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Troops 4a, 4c and 5c also received agency awards.  13 of the 19 individual awards were presented to CSP troopers.  The event was held at the Redlands Mesa Golf Course in Grand Junction.

A Traffic Safety Champion is an individual that shows outstanding support for impaired driving or occupant protection enforcement. This can be demonstrated by the number of citations written or arrests made during the established enforcement periods throughout the year.  It can also be demonstrated by drug recognition expert activity, high visibility enforcement tactics and other related activities.

"The officers recognized today are taking steps to make positive changes in their communities to keep citizens safe and enhance their quality of life,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety.  “They are truly some of our finest public servants because they go above and beyond to enhance traffic safety and serve without recognition.”

The CDOT Highway Safety Office provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving and seat belt enforcement, education and awareness campaigns. The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 12 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. More details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips can be found at

In 2013, seat belts saved an estimated 12,584 lives nationwide. An additional 2,800 lives could have been saved if all unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants five and older involved in fatal crashes had been properly restrained. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit