Governor Polis joins CDOT, CDPHE and CSP to Launch New Safety Initiative

Traffic Safety Pulse News


At an April 8 press conference Governor Jared Polis joined the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado State Patrol to announce a new statewide safety program.

“Safety is more than just a week, it’s every day of the year,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “Every time we get in our vehicles, whether it’s a car, SUV, motorcycle or pick-up, it has to be top of mind.”

To heighten safety awareness, CDOT announced its Whole System Whole Safety initiative. This project takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address human factors, physical assets and organizational culture to better support real-time operations.

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“The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving safety conditions for those traveling by all transportation modes,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “The program has one simple mission - to get everyone home safely.”

Whole System Whole Safety sets real goals and achievable results using actual activities that can be done now. This includes additional rumble strips and six-inch striping on roadways, both highly effective, low-cost ways of keeping vehicles on the road. It also includes helping drivers understand the rules of the road, from the Move Over Law to designated passing lanes. Organizationally, CDOT plans to integrate its maintenance and operations divisions to streamline incident command to speed up incident response.

“There is never an excuse for driving impaired or any other behavior that puts others at risk on our roadways,” said CSP Chief Matthew Packard. “Our troopers work day and night to remove unsafe drivers from our roads and help motorists in distress.”   

Despite a three percent dip in 2018, fatalities are up 40 percent since 2010, from 450 to 628. But year-to-date in 2019 fatalities on Colorado roads have dipped 30 percent and now stand at 87, versus 126 this time last year. CDOT’s new safety initiative will work to sustain this forward momentum.

“Traffic crashes place an enormous strain on our health care system,” said CDPHE Executive Director Jill Ryan. “Just about every crash is preventable so we embrace CDOT’s efforts to double down on safety and get everyone home to their families.”   

The top three factors in traffic fatalities each year are impaired driving, excessive speed and not wearing a seat belt. With funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, CDOT’s awareness campaigns and law enforcement efforts help address these issues and others, including distracted driving, child passenger safety and pedestrian safety.