CDOT launches new anti-speeding campaign as El Paso County roads see rise in speed-related fatalities

Speeding was a factor in more than a quarter of all traffic deaths in El Paso County last year.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:32 AM MST
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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Speeding is increasingly a deadly problem on El Paso County roads.

According to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado State Patrol, while the country as a whole saw a 17 percent increasing in speeding-related crash fatalities from 2019-2020 -- El Paso County saw a 43 percent jump in the same time frame.

“Speeding continues to be a primary or contributing factor of far too many roadway fatalities across Colorado. Our data shows that El Paso County has received the largest number of speeding citations in the past three years,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of State Patrol.

Driving too fast was a factor in more than a quarter of all fatal collisions in the county in 2022.

In an attempt to curb the trend in 2023, CDOT and State Patrol have launched a new anti-speeding campaign specifically for El Paso County. Perhaps you’ve already seen the billboards, reminding you the only excuse for speeding is if you’re being chased by a UFO or some kind of monster:

Example of a billboard drivers might see in El Paso County as part of the new campaign.
Example of a billboard drivers might see in El Paso County as part of the new campaign.(CDOT)

CDOT officials say the goofy billboards are the point: they want drivers to realize their excuses for speeding are just as absurd.

“We want people to really think about all those silly excuses that they make for speeding, because when you speed, you can crash, and when you crash, you can injure or kill yourself or somebody else on the road,” said Sam Cole, CDOT’s traffic safety manager.

"Using a series of catastrophic and comical scenarios, CDOT and CSP are helping drivers...
"Using a series of catastrophic and comical scenarios, CDOT and CSP are helping drivers understand that speeding is never worth it, especially when lives are at stake."(CDOT)

“Speed really makes crashes so much worse than they have to be,” Cole said. “When you’re speeding, your reaction time is reduced, the ability of your car to protect you is reduced, and your stopping distance is increased.”

Cole told 11 News that it’s not entirely surprising that El Paso County is leading the pack in Colorado with speeding citations and fatalities.

“El Paso County is our largest county in the state, so it’s natural that we would see an over abundance of speeding crashes there.”

But it doesn’t mean it has to be that way.

“There really is no good reason to speed on El Paso County roadways,” Cole said. “You know, it takes practice. You know, we just have to plan a little bit better, leave our homes, leave work a little bit sooner so that you don’t have to be in a hurry to get where you’re going. It all comes down to what you yourself are doing. You can’t control other people, but you can’t control your own habits. and you can start in the new year by bringing your speeds down a little bit and making us all a little bit safer on the roadway.

“... Perhaps this year, we can do better, and we’re hoping that this campaign can make a difference in changing those behaviors.”