Traffic safety a key priority in 2019 for the Colorado Springs Police Department

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo – In 2019, the Colorado Springs Police Department made traffic safety a priority following a record high number of traffic deaths in Colorado Springs the previous year. In an effort to reduce traffic fatalities, the CSPD has not only stepped up enforcement in 2019, but also worked closely with community partners to help keep Colorado Springs safe.

“We are fortunate to live in a community that stands together. From working together with other local and state law enforcement agencies to tackling safety projects with the Colorado Springs Traffic Engineering Department, these alliances have been critical to keeping our community safe,” said CSPD Chief Vince Niski.

Coupled with partnerships, major traffic safety efforts in 2019 for CSPD included:

DUI Enforcements

Throughout the year, the CSPD’s dedicated DUI Unit participated in every Colorado Department of Transportation enforcement period, in addition to 14 High Visibility Enforcement efforts to include New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving.

Since Jan. 1, to Nov. 30, 2019 CSPD officers have made 1,692 DUI arrests.

“Slow Down, Colorado Springs”

November 2019 marked the start of the second year the CSPD has participated in the Colorado Department of Transportation-funded “Slow Down, Colorado Springs” enforcement effort. Using funds from the Colorado Department of Transportation, officers conduct saturated enforcement activity at well-traveled locations that experience a high number of injury traffic crashes. 2018 was the first year the CSPD participated in the project, and its results were telling. Over the course of 12 months (November 2018 to November 2019), officers dedicated 1,008 hours of additional speed enforcement, issued 2,399 traffic citations, and cited 2,758 traffic violations.

Red Light Safety Cameras

A major traffic safety milestone this year was implementing red light safety cameras throughout the city. Photo red enforcement is a valuable tool to change driver behavior and has been implemented in an effort to improve safety by reducing red-light running violations, collisions and injuries without affecting city funds. The program acts as a force multiplier, allowing police officers to be more safely and effectively deployed while still addressing traffic enforcement. In total from May 8 - Nov. 30, 2019, the following were captured from red light safety cameras at the intersections of Platte and Chelton avenues; Briargate Parkway and Lexington Road; and Academy Boulevard and North Carefree:

  •        7,171 Potential red light violations reviewed by CSPD (May 8 –Nov. 30, 2019)
  •        5,134 citations issued (May 8 – November 30, 2019)
  •        370 C\citations issued at Lexington and Briargate (May 8 – Nov. 30, 2019)
  •        4,204 citations issued at Platte and Chelton (May 8 – Nov. 30, 2019)
  •        560 citations issued at Academy and North Carefree (Oct. 1-Nov. 30, 2019)

*The above-listed statistics include citations issued to motorists after the initial 30-day warning period for each intersection. Platte/Chelton and Briargate/Lexington red light cameras began their 30-day warning period April 9; the Academy/North Carefree red light camera began its 30-day warning period Sept. 1)

More information about the red light safety camera program can be found at www.ColoradoSprings.gov/redlightsafety

The CSPD will continue to prioritize traffic safety; however, it continues to rely on community partnerships, because saving lives out on our roads requires a collaborative effort with our citizens.

In 2018, the community lost 48 people on Colorado Springs roadways, eclipsing the previous record set in 1986 of 43 traffic deaths. To date for 2019 (Jan. 1- Dec. 15), 41 people lost their lives to traffic fatalities.

Total number of traffic fatalities- 2019

  •    9 Pedestrians
  •    11 Motorcyclists
  •    3 DUI Involved
  •    3 Bicyclists

 “Seeing a decrease in the number of traffic fatalities in Colorado Springs in 2019 is a positive for our entire community. It means our enforcement efforts are working and citizens are being more responsible out on our roads, however, we believe the numbers are still too high. The CSPD will continue to focus on traffic safety in the new year to continue making Colorado Springs a safer place for everyone to live and drive,” said Niski. “We’ve said it a lot this year, but it’s a message that bears repeating…Traffic safety is a community issue that we all need to work together to solve.”

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