It’s been almost a year since a couple from Parker lost their lives to a distracted driving collision. They were riding their Harley-Davidson with a friend on a Saturday afternoon, when a woman, who was texting on her cellphone, crashed into their bike. On January 20th, that woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for causing the incident, but she was only one driver in a problem that threatens to overtake our entire state.
Why are Colorado Motorcyclist Fatalities Up?
In 2015, we hit a three-year high for motorcyclist fatalities—105—but 2016 blew that record away completely. There were 125 motorcycle deaths on Colorado roads last year, an all-time high for our state. This number was 18 percent higher than last year’s, and it was 50 percent higher than the 79 motorcyclists who fell to crashes in 2012.
These facts have shaken the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Colorado State Patrol. Both departments are scrambling to reduce these numbers, but they have a long road ahead of them if they are going to achieve that goal.
CDOT is going to pump $390,000 into its motorcycle safety efforts! This means we are going to see even more of the Drive Smart Colorado and Look Twice campaigns, but motorcyclists won’t be the only focus of CDOT. Officials say that one of the biggest contributors to the rise in motorcyclist fatalities was distracted driving. Because of this, CDOT will also be focusing on efforts to educate drivers to get them off their cellphones while driving.
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