CDOT Targets Teen Drivers with “Keep Your License Safe” Campaign

News Release

September 2, 2020 - Statewide Traffic Safety - Campaign focuses on cell phones, passenger limits and buckling up

Campaign materials and videos available here

DENVER – Today, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched a public awareness campaign to help educate new teen drivers about safety laws that specifically apply to them, known as Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) laws. CDOT’s new “Keep Your License Safe” campaign is a humorous and engaging social media effort that targets teens with information about laws that apply to them: no cell phones, no passengers under 21, and always wear a seat belt.

GDL laws were designed to keep drivers under the age of 18 safe by giving them driving experience without distractions, and by limiting dangerous driving situations. Over the past 20 years, GDL has contributed to a near 50% reduction in traffic fatalities involving young drivers. Continued education about GDL laws and enforcement of the restrictions are important for maintaining positive results.

CDOT Teen Driver Involved Fatal Crashes

CDOT’s “Keep Your License Safe” campaign focuses on three key GDL laws through a series of short videos using a “peer-to-peer” messaging model. Each video highlights a different GDL law, with one teen playing all the roles.

“From talking with teens, we know how important peer-to-peer conversations can be. It’s how many teens get their news and information,” explains Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety. “This campaign puts a fun spin on peer delivery, giving them an opportunity to learn about safe driving from each other.”

Parent involvement in GDL is critical to its success in keeping teen drivers safe. Teens who say their parents set rules and pay attention to their activities in a helpful, supportive way are half as likely to crash. A simple and effective way for parents to open the lines of communication about safe driving practices is with a Teen/Parent Driving Contract. A contract allows parents and teens to work together to establish driving rules and consequences. Parents can download a sample driving contract.

“Getting a driver’s license can be an exciting time for new drivers, and it also comes with a lot of responsibility,” adds Lingk. “The more teens and their parents know about the licensing process and teen driving laws in Colorado, the better prepared everyone will be.”

The “Keep Your License Safe” campaign will appear in September on popular social media platforms including Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram. Campaign videos can be found here.

Teen Law #1 - No texting 

Teen Law #2 - No passengers

Teen Law #3 - Buckle up

Key figures:

  • 2005 – 2016: Colorado averaged 64 young drivers involved in fatal crashes per year.
  • 2017 - 2019: Colorado averaged 82 young drivers involved in fatal crashes per year, an increase of 28%.
  • The first year of driving is the most dangerous.
  • GDL law has contributed to a near 50% reduction in traffic fatalities involving young drivers over the last 20 years.
  • Crashes are preventable. Teens who say their parents set rules and pay attention to their activities in a helpful, supportive way are half as likely to crash.

For additional resources, please visit

CDOT seat belt 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.