CDOT's new "Left Behind" campaign remembers pedestrians killed with display of 76 shoes

Traffic Safety News

billboard. Left behind on the street after a crash. shoe. road. watch out for pedestrians.

Recently, CDOT and Denver Streets Partnership joined at Union Station to remember the 76 pedestrians who lost their lives in 2019, while also reminding drivers to use caution near pedestrians on Colorado roads.

“CDOT strives to keep all Coloradoans safe on our roadways, whether they are driving or walking,” said CDOT Traffic Safety Manager Sam Cole. “During the summer months more people are out walking so it’s important we all use extra caution and do our part to ensure everyone gets home safely.”

To further raise awareness about pedestrian safety, today CDOT also launched its latest safety campaign, Left Behind, which aims to decrease the number of pedestrian crashes in the state.  Left Behind emotionally highlights the aftermath and devastation of a pedestrian crash by focusing on the personal belongings left behind after a pedestrian crash. The campaign will be featured on billboards in Colorado Springs and the Denver Metro area. It will also appear on RTD Bus and Rail, at bus shelters and on social media statewide. 

“Streets connect us and can foster health, happiness and opportunity, but only if they are safe places for everyone," said Jill Locantore, executive director of Denver Streets Partnership.  "This is a powerful campaign that has the potential to significantly raise awareness about the importance of pedestrian safety."

To date in 2020, there have been 47 pedestrian deaths on Colorado roadways. The top five counties are El Paso (nine fatalities), Denver (eight fatalities), Adams and Jefferson (seven each), and Arapahoe (five fatalities). Other counties with pedestrian deaths in 2020 include: Larimer County (two fatalities), Weld County (one fatality), Pueblo County (one fatality), Delta, Garfield, Montezuma and Pitkin (one each).

“In 2018, our son Gavin was on his way home from fishing with friends when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver,” said Melissa Myers. “Since Gavin’s tragic and senseless death, our family, friends, and community have been advocating for the safety of pedestrians because no family should ever have to bury their loved one at the hand of a careless or distracted driver. We’re sharing our story in hopes that it will help save more lives.”

Facts and Statistics:

  • In 2019, there were 76 pedestrian fatalities in Colorado, up from 40 fatalities in 2010.    
  • In 2019, pedestrian fatalities represented nearly 13% of all Colorado roadway fatalities.
  • According to NHTSA, in 2018 more than two-thirds (69%) of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes were males.

CDOT reminds roadway users to follow the below safety tips:

Eliminate distractions while driving

  • This includes using cell phones, eating or turning to talk to  passengers.

Reduce speed

  • Reducing your speed on busy streets can greatly improve pedestrian safety.

Make eye contact or nod 

  • Eye contact and/or a quick nod is an easy way to confirm that both the driver and pedestrian see each other at intersections.

Always use crosswalks 

  • Most crashes occur at non-intersections. Drivers should use extra caution when approaching a crosswalk.

Follow the rules of the road

  • The crosswalk is a no-car zone and motorists should stop prior to the crosswalk.

Time of day is also a factor in pedestrian crashes, with nighttime posing a significantly higher risk. At night, drivers should turn on headlights and slow down. Pedestrians should remember they are harder to see at night and use extra caution when crossing streets and entering crosswalks. 

CDOT pedestrian safety efforts are part of CDOT’s Whole System – Whole Safety campaign which aims to reduce fatalities and injuries and “Bring everyone home safely.”