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CDOT shares safety tips for keeping teens safe following fatal crash

September 9, 2021 - Traffic Safety

 

DENVER - In light of this week’s tragic crash in Prowers County, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is sharing safety messages to help protect Colorado teenagers on Colorado roads.

Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) laws have been successful in helping to reduce the number of teen deaths in the state by 50% since 2005. GDL laws minimize risk and reduce fatalities among young drivers and their passengers by providing young drivers with an opportunity to safely gain driving experience before “graduating” to obtaining full driving privileges.

Mandatory Seat Belts: By law, all teen drivers and passengers must wear seat belts. This applies to all seating positions, including the rear seat.

Cell Phones and Texting Banned: Teens under age 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. Teens' inexperience behind the wheel makes them more susceptible to dangerous distractions.

Passenger Restrictions: Teens with a license are not allowed to have any passengers under 21 for the first six months; for the next six months, only one passenger under the age of 21 is allowed. There are exceptions for family members and emergencies.

So far this year there have been 412 traffic fatalities on Colorado roads. Of those, 30 were teenage drivers or passengers.

“Our hearts are with the entire Prowers community,” says Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety. “It’s a heartbreaking reminder of how precious life is.”

Resources:

Colorado GDL Toolkit: Members of the Colorado Young Drivers Alliance published this resource for Colorado youth and their parents, caregivers, and networks. The toolkit helps navigate available GDL resources to increase knowledge of teen driving laws.

For yearly crash and fatality data in Colorado, visit https://www.codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety/crash-data-management/fatal-crash-data.

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.