Colorado’s Road Health Summit to Focus on Safety

STATEWIDE—Colorado is one of the healthiest states in the country, with low rates of obesity and other positive health indicators. But according to preliminary data, 545 people were killed on Colorado roadways in 2015. Many of these crashes are attributable to impaired drivers, lack of seat belt use and other unsafe behaviors.

For more information—including a full roster of speakers, workshops and events—please visit the Summit web page.

So traffic safety advocates across Colorado will be gathering tomorrow in Keystone, Colo., for the second annual Improving Colorado’s Road Health Summit. A joint effort between the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the three-day conference focuses on the following topics:

  • Aging/Older Drivers
  • Impaired Driving
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
  • Motorcycle Safety
  • Occupant Protection
  • Younger Drivers
  • Traffic Data
  • Rural and Urban Infrastructure
  • Distracted Driving
  • New and Innovative Traffic Safety Initiatives for Law Enforcement

"When it comes to safety on our roads, there is a lot of room for improvement," said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. "From increasing seat belt use to curbing impaired driving to ending the growing threat posed by distracted driving, we can do better."

At the Summit, traffic safety stakeholders across the state will discuss solutions to current and emerging traffic safety issues affecting Colorado. Participants will have the opportunity to hear various presentations, participate in interactive panels and discuss evidence-based policies to improve Colorado's road health. Over 200 traffic safety partners from across Colorado plan to attend.

"Over 90 percent of crashes are due to drivers making bad choices—but these behaviors can be changed through more education, awareness and enforcement of laws," said Carol Gould, highway safety manager at CDOT. "This summit allows us to take a step back and look at the big picture—and dig deep into best practices, tactics, strategies and approaches as outlined in CDOT's Strategic Highway Safety Plan."

On Wednesday, the conference will feature remarks by Gina Espinosa-Salcedo, regional administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Michael P. Lewis, CDOT deputy executive director, and Lindsey Meyers, Injury and Violence Prevention unit manager at CDPHE.

Thursday's plenary session is titled "Zero Deaths Through Technology: Is it Really that Simple?" Workshop topics include reaching diverse communities with safety messages, building a bicycle-friendly Colorado and new ways to prevent distracted driving.

Friday's agenda will focus on implementation of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan.