CDOT unveils motorcycle display at biker venue to draw attention to lives lost and rider safety

News Release

August 19, 2023 - Statewide Safety News - Motorcycle awareness takes center stage at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse

Jefferson County — The Colorado Department of Transportation is taking a step to curb increasing motorcycle fatalities with a poignant display at a biker-friendly venue in Golden. As part of the "Wish You Were Here" campaign, CDOT is installing a motorcycle display at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse to highlight the stark reality of motorcycle deaths in Colorado. The ‘riderless motorcycle’ display serves as a reminder to ride safely, including wearing a helmet. It will be on display from Aug. 19 through Aug. 28.

In 2022 149 riders lost their lives on Colorado roads, while an estimated 1,200 sustained injuries. Despite representing just 3% of the state's roadway users, motorcyclists accounted for an alarming 20% of all traffic-related fatalities. CDOT's "Wish You Were Here" campaign seeks to honor the memory of those who have tragically lost their lives while riding and create a powerful call to action to ride more safely.

Dirty Dogs Roadhouse motorcycle display
CDOT’s “Wish You Were Here” empty motorcycle display at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse honors the memory of those who have lost their lives and asks riders and drivers to help prevent motorcycle tragedies.

“The display at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse symbolizes the void left behind by those who took their final ride,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “It serves as a reminder that each life lost to a motorcycle crash leaves an irreplaceable gap in our communities and families. The installation urges everyone to take responsibility for their actions on the road, promoting driver awareness and motorcycle safety to save lives and prevent tragedies like these from occurring.”

The motorcycle display at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse comes as Colorado motorcycle fatalities have reached their highest level on record. So far this year, 85 motorcyclists have been killed on Colorado roads. The counties with the most motorcycle deaths so far this year include El Paso (11), Adams (9), Larimer (9), Arapahoe (8) and Jefferson (6) counties.

CDOT’s goal is to provide an opportunity for the driving and riding community to reflect on the lives lost and recommit to ensuring the safety of all road users.

Among Colorado’s motorcycle riders killed in 2022, most were not wearing a helmet. Head injuries are the leading cause of death, and a helmet can reduce the likelihood of fatality by 37%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Alcohol impairment and speed are also major contributing factors — in 2021, 30% of motorcyclists killed in a crash had alcohol in their system, and 34% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

  • Always wear a helmet. Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes
  • Observe all traffic laws and obey the speed limit
  • Do not ride if you’ve been drinking or taking any drugs
  • Be predictable — signal your intentions and be aware of your surroundings
  • Ride defensively — be prepared for other drivers to make mistakes
  • Take a motorcycle safety course. Visit to find courses offered through the Colorado State Patrol
  • No lane splitting — it is illegal in Colorado
  • Wear high-visibility personal protective gear such as boots and gloves

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Avoid distractions such as phones or anything else that takes your eyes off the road.
  • Be extra careful at intersections - motorcycles can be hard to see
  • If you are preparing to cross traffic or turn left, take a second look for motorcycles.
  • Check your blind spots.
  • Scan the road for motorcycles before changing lanes or turning.
  • Don't tailgate motorcycles. Tailgating a motorcycle increases the risk of a rear-end collision.
  • Give motorcycles plenty of space to brake in case of an emergency.
  • Check blind spots before changing lanes or merging - motorcycles are smaller than cars and can be difficult to see
  • Double check traffic at intersections before you turn or pull out.