EL PASO CO. — Local law enforcement are ramping up efforts to keep the community safe on our roads. The initiative is kicking off ahead of the busiest travel season, and historically busiest for crashes too.
Colorado State Patrol, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, and the Colorado Springs police department are all working with one another to address the dangerous driving behaviors on I-25. The Fountain Police Department and Monument Police Department are also involved.
The message they want to drive home? They hope the community will voluntarily comply and drive with caution.
Captain John Lupton, the troop commander for the Colorado State Patrol in El Paso County and Teller County, said there have been more than 650 crashes in El Paso County in 2021, which is down 15% from 2020. Last year there were 80 fatalities in the Pikes Peak Region. This year, 11 people have been killed in a crash.
The agencis efforts are focused on reducing violations that cause the most crashes, which are speeders and impaired drivers, lain violations, distracted driving, and following too closely.
"We're trying to be pro-active and get the message out, and get people used to seeing our officers and troopers out there on a daily basis. Plus, I think that's what the public expects us to do, to remind people that they have to drive safely," said Captain Lupton. "We're asking for voluntary compliance. The worst place to be as a state trooper, is telling someone their loved one is never coming home."
Captain Lupton said as COVID-19 restrictions ease and more people are looking to travel, "many of them will be looking toward summer for relaxations and releases, and we are extremely concerned that could be an increase in the level of crashes. We're trying to get in front of that, by realizing and understanding everybody is ready to return to normal."
Captain Lupton said the agencies and departments will allocate the necessary resources to keep the community safe.