DougCo drivers second-most likely to speed in school and work zones

Heather Willard

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Jan. 26, 2023

(Douglas County, Colo.) Speeding Douglas County drivers put children and road workers at risk, according to Colorado State Patrol records.

During 2019-2021, troopers cited 9,643 people for speeding in Colorado’s construction or school zones, and Douglas County drivers accounted for the second-highest number of citations. The agency reported issuing over 208,000 speeding citations during the three-year period.

School and construction zones use lower speed limits, traffic calming devices and other high-visibility warning devices for drivers to protect kids' and roadside workers’ lives.

“Great lengths are taken to alert drivers in advance of areas or work spaces that we know could be fatal for pedestrians,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Motorists should never assume people will not be present and should reduce their speeds and put away distractions. People’s lives are depending on you.”

According to Colorado State Patrol data, the top five counties with the most

speeding charges in 2021 were:

  1. El Paso
  2. Douglas
  3. Jefferson
  4. Weld
  5. Eagle

“Speeding can be habit forming, but it doesn’t make it excusable,” Packard said. “When you don’t have the awareness to drive cautiously and lawfully in school and work zones, you are displaying extreme indifference to your neighbors and community.”

Driving in Colorado has become increasingly dangerous in the past few years. The Colorado Department of Transportation reported earlier in January that the state had 745 crash deaths in 2022, the most since 1981. The state reported a record 36% of road crash deaths were people outside the vehicle, such as pedestrians and motorcyclists, and is the most on record since 1975.

The fatality increase does not correlate to Colorado’s population growth, said Keith Stefanik, CDOT chief engineer.

“After falling for 30 years, the rate of crashes has steadily risen during the last decade,” Stefanik said. “Furthermore, for every fatality, there are five serious injuries caused by crashes on Colorado roads. These injuries can leave a devastating lifelong toll on individuals and their families.”

CDOT reported a preliminary total of 2,454 serious injury crashes during 2022, down from the 2021 total of 2,867 serious injury crashes. It is an increase from 2,390 in 2020. Douglas County accounted for 101 of those crashes in 2022 and 2020 and reported there were 113 serious injury crashes in the county in 2021, according to CDOT’s crash data dashboard.

The counties with the total most road fatalities in 2022:

  • El Paso = 83
  • Adams = 82
  • Denver = 67
  • Arapahoe = 56
  • Weld = 53
  • Jefferson = 46
  • Pueblo = 40

Comments / 0

Published by

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

More from Heather Willard

Comments / 0