COLORADO SPRINGS — Even during the pandemic when less people were driving, last year 84 people died in crashes in El Paso County, the most of any county in the state. A record 50 of those deadly crashes happened on Colorado Springs roads. News5 takes a deep dive into how investigators are using a targeted crackdown on speeding to try to save lives.
During two and a half hours of tracking drivers in the area of Research and Powers, Colorado Springs Police Department officers wrote more than 60 tickets. CSPD says all of them were for people driving more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Colorado Springs cops have written more than 25,000 tickets this year and they tell News5 they'll keep writing them until people slow down.
"We still get all the neighborhood complaints of people calling in and saying people are driving 90 miles an hour down my street. So speeding is happening citywide," said Lt. Shannon Snuggs of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
According to Colorado State Patrol that kind of speeding was a primary cause of the deadly crashes in the last year and when it comes to the most speeding charges at the highest speeds El Paso County is the most dangerous, ranking highest in the state.
"It's not people in these speed contests. It's people in a hurry to get somewhere driving unsafely," said Lt. Snuggs.
In fact, according to CSPD during the last nine months of working in targeted enforcement areas officers have written more than 520 tickets for drivers going more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit.
An officer patrolling in the area of Academy and Maizeland spotted a driver traveling through the 45 mile per hour zone at 93 miles an hour. Crash investigators say it would take that driver about 384 feet to come to a complete stop.
Another driver in the area of Highway 115 and Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard was stopped for going 91 in a 50 miles per hour zone.
While speed is an issue on city streets, officers tell New5 some of the most dangerous speeds are happening on I-25 through town.
"A driver on the interstate was cited for going 119 miles per hour. That's completely unsafe for everybody out there," said Lt. Snuggs.
Two other recent stops happened at I-25 and N. Nevada and I-25 and MLK Bypass where drivers were ticketed for driving 113 and 118 miles per hour.
Unable to do speed enforcement on every corner, CSPD uses speed trailers to gather data on car counts and the number of speeders in certain areas to focus its speed enforcement.
"Is there a specific time of the day, or specific time of the week that we see these problems?," Lt. Snuggs said these are the questions they're trying to answer.
"We need to go take a look and make a presence there to get people to slow down so we can impact those numbers and reduce the crashes that are happening," said Lt. Snuggs.
Remember speeding tickets in work zones double the fine and comes with a mandatory court appearance.
To track CSPD speed enforcement updates you can follow updates on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/CSPDDutyLt?s=20
Here is a look at the areas CSPD is targeting its speed enforcement: