CDOT Unveils Human Cheese Grater to Remind Motorcyclists to Wear Helmets and other gear

News Release

July 21, 2020 - Traffic Safety, Denver Metro Area - 63 motorcyclists have died in crashes this year with 23 fatalities in the Denver metro area

DENVER – Today, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado State Patrol (CSP) unveiled a new eye-catching tactic to remind motorcyclists to wear helmets and other protective gear. The “Human Cheese Grater” is located at Performance Cycle, as well as several other locations throughout the state, and aims to remind motorcyclists that falling on asphalt at any speed can result in serious bodily injury or death.

Human Cheese Grater image on roadway

Images and b-roll available here.

“CDOT continues to find unique and engaging ways to urge motorcyclists to always wear helmets and other gear when riding,” said CDOT Highway Safety Manager Glenn Davis. “Protective gear is imperative to protecting the rider from injury, preventing fatalities and getting everyone home safely.”

The “Human Cheese Grater” will serve as a safety reminder to hundreds of customers at motorcycle dealers across the state, including:

"Year after year, we see approximately 75 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes are caused by the motorcycle rider," said Major Tim Keeton of the Colorado State Patrol.  "This tells me if I make personal decisions to get the proper training, wear the proper protective gear, and most importantly make responsible decisions, I can do a lot to keep myself safe on a motorcycle!"

Proper gear includes boots that cover the ankles, riding pants and jacket, gloves, eye protection and a helmet. In addition to wearing proper gear, CDOT urges motorcyclists to:

Receive professional training.

All motorcyclists should receive professional training. Long time riders should go to training classes for a refresher every few years.

Follow all traffic laws.

All motorcyclists are required to follow the rules of the road. In Colorado, lane splitting is illegal.

Ride sober.

Even one drink can decrease reaction times, coordination, vision, judgement and concentration, all of which are crucial when operating a motorcycle.

“If I didn't have my helmet on I wouldn't be here today,” said Michael Fales of Aurora, who crashed his bike on Memorial Day in 2017. “The side of the helmet was severely scraped, my motorcycle jacket was torn up, and my boots were chewed up. The bike flipped over and landed on my leg and broke it.”  

In 2019 there were 103 motorcyclists killed on Colorado roads, accounting for 17% of all roadway deaths. Motorcycles comprise only 3% of vehicles on the road. So far this year 63 motorcyclists have been killed in traffic crashes, up 13% from this time last year.

From 2011 to 2019, motorcyclist fatalities have increased more than 32%.

So far this year in the Denver metro area, there have been four fatalities in Adams County, three in Arapahoe County, one in Broomfield County, three in Denver County, six in Douglas County and six in Jefferson County.

In addition to the “Human Cheese Grater,” CDOT launched a social media campaign encouraging riders to wear proper gear.

CDOT motorcycle safety efforts are part of CDOT’s Whole System – Whole Safety campaign which aims to reduce fatalities and injuries and “Bring everyone home safely.”



In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative 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 the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.



CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado and manages more than 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. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.