Colorado Springs progressing towards deadliest year for roads

11 September 2018

Joy Webb

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    Citizens are aware of the dangers that present themselves when your are both a pedestrian and driver on the streets of Colorado Springs. In fact, according to KKTV 11 News, Colorado Springs is on track to have the deadliest year on roads, and a large percentage of this includes pedestrians.

     UCCS students especially are at risk, since a large percentage are commuter students, who either walk or drive to class. According to KKTV, 35 people have died so far this year in various kinds of deadly crashes, which is just four less than all of last year. More than 20% of those crashes have involved pedestrians, or bikers.

    What is it that makes the roads in Colorado Springs so dangerous? There are many possibilities for these statistics, and one of which is driving behaviors that result in accidents and sometimes even fatalities.

    Many drivers may also not be aware of pedestrians, which could be the reason for the 51 pedestrian deaths in Colorado Springs over the past six years.

    UCCS even had a student fatality due to a hit-and-run accident during the 2017 fall semester, which was around this time last year.

    Especially during holidays, like Halloween, students are walking to-and-from campus, and there are many drivers on the road who are not driving safely, or could be driving while intoxicated.

    The accidents might increase when there are snow on the roads, making car accidents even more common when the road conditions are dangerous; according to the NOAA winter weather forecast, it predicted that there will be higher than average precipitation throughout the Rockies and Colorado. This means that Colorado roads might be even more brutal this year than in the past winter.

   “The benefit for the campus is we have a lot of infrastructure to park on campus and then places to park and use shuttles. There and intersections for apartments across the street. We also have zero tolerance for jaywalking and are giving tickets out for those, as far as roads on campus, it’s really a safe place to be unless you are backing out,” said Chief of Police, Marc Pino.

    On many roads throughout Colorado Springs, like Nevada, or I-25, accidents are common because of the amount of traffic flow, and the higher speed limits.

    “It’s not as big of a concern being on campus because the speed limits are usually a little less,” said Pino.

   Along with having accidents, Colorado Springs may experience a more harsh winter with snowy roads that usually causes more vehicular collisions and wrecks.

    “What I tell people with regards to winter driving is to make sure that they 1: understand how to drive in winter weather especially for students or faculty who are new to Colorado and haven’t had experience driving in the winter,” said Pino, “There’s a lot of good information online, tips and tricks that you can do.”

    Students are never asked to attend class when road conditions do not permit travelling safely, and this is why campus closures sometimes occur during the winter.

    “We coordinate closure based on road conditions within Colorado Springs, the local school districts and the facilities department in terms of opening up the roads to be able to be safe on campus,” said Pino.

    Being safe as both a pedestrian and a driver depends on your defensive ability, and this is what prevents accidents from happening.

    “You need to take extra time, and you need to be extra cautious, and not take undue risks when driving,” said Pino.