Speed, DUIs, unbuckled occupants spark increase in vehicle crash deaths on Colorado roads

Published: February 5, 2014, 5:44 pm, by Garrison Wells

The Colorado Department of Transportation  Office of Transportation Safety is offering grants to help trim the number of deaths and serious injuries from crashes on Colorado roads.

In 2012, the number of motor vehicle fatalities in Colorado increased for the first time in six years after a steady decline.

Speed-related fatalities, fatalities with a driver impaired by alcohol and unbuckled occupant fatalities accounted for the three largest parts of motor vehicle deaths in Colorado.

Of 472 motor vehicle deaths in 2012, 162 (34%) were speed-related and about 133 (28%) involved a driver impaired by alcohol.  Of major concern is that of the 287 passenger vehicle fatalities, 156 (54%) were unbuckled, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The grants are available through the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” to agencies, organizations and tribal governments within the state  that provide programs, projects, services and strategies that are intended to help solve the problem.

“Focusing prevention efforts related to speed, impaired driving and seat belt use provide the greatest opportunity to impact the total number of fatalities on Colorado roadways,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT.

“But there are many other traffic safety issues that also need attention, such as pedestrian safety and impaired driving involving marijuana. It’s through our local communities that we move the needle in terms of decreasing motor vehicle fatalities and serious injury crashes.”

The total projected funding is $3.5 million and the average award amount typically ranges from $50,000-$75,000 .

Applications are due to CDOT on April 1 by 3 p.m. The RFA, application and other data are available at http://www.coloradodot.info/business/grants/safetygrants as of Feb. 3.