After five year lull, Douglas County traffic fatalities climb in 2021

Heather Willard
A silver and black car engine.Photo by Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash.

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver

(Douglas County, Colo.) Driving Douglas County roads turned deadly in 2021. The county recorded 28 people died in 27 fatal crashes last year. It was the county’s deadliest year since 2016.

Douglas County’s numbers mirror a statewide trend. Colorado’s roads were the deadliest in 20 years during 2021.

Nearby Denver County reported 63 fatal crashes in 2021, and El Paso County reported 73 fatal crashes, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

According to the Douglas County Coroner’s 2020 annual report, most traffic deaths did not involve drugs or alcohol. Of the 27 fatal crashes, only four involved alcohol, drugs or marijuana use.

A study commissioned by the county, conducted between Jan. 26-Feb. 13, asked 1,453 Douglas County residents about public safety matters. Over two-thirds of respondents (68%, or 990 residents) named road safety as a moderate or major problem. Only 8%, or 109 respondents, said road safety isn’t a problem.

In an open-ended question regarding the biggest issue facing their community, residents ranked traffic and road safety concerns highest. The survey recorded 457 responses discussing speeding, running red lights and other traffic violations.

The report stated residents worry about aggressive drivers, and suggested adding more patrols to make roads safer. However, in a separate question that asked residents to rank the most important role of police officers, only 6% (81 individuals) said enforcing traffic laws.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

Broomfield, CO

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