Colorado State Patrol Continues “Low Tolerance” Enforcement Throughout Holiday Season

Traffic Safety Pulse News

I-70 Mountain Corridor Crash Fatalities Remain a Top Concern

Across America, alarm bells are sounding over the effect of reckless driving playing out on roadways large and small, including Summit, Eagle, and Garfield Counties in Colorado. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) the pandemic was like pouring gasoline on an already growing fire of poor habits. At the top was driving while distracted, speeding, and driving while impaired.

“The 2021 crash picture is the worst we have seen in Colorado in over five years,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We are lowering our tolerance on what may have once been given a warning. The I-70 mountain corridor is facing a safety crisis and we know that visibility and strong enforcement will save lives.”

Concentrated operations began before Thanksgiving and will continue throughout the upcoming weeks to curb the fatality rate within Summit, Eagle, and Garfield County communities. By October of 2021, the Colorado State Patrol saw a 60% increase in fatal crashes for this area over the same time last year. Impaired motorists and distracted driving were found to be the top causal factors by CSP crash investigators.

“We’re losing ground on our I-70 mountain corridor. It’s time to take the responsibilities of driving seriously,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard. “We have to do better. You have a responsibility to your community, to your loved ones, and to yourself to focus while behind the wheel and stop buying into the myth that it is okay to drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.” 

Looking at 2021 crash data, the Colorado State Patrol discovered that some of the worst times for serious and fatal crashes in the area were Saturdays from 11 a.m. through the early evening and weekday evening rush hour periods and Monday morning rush hour (6 a.m. – 9 am..). While impaired driving has always had a no tolerance approach, troopers will also lower tolerance and cite more drivers on lane violations, as it is an indicator of impairment, distracted driving, and exceeding a safe speed limit for road conditions.