(COLO) – Sharing the roads means sharing the responsibility. Since all of us are pedestrians from time to time, it’s important to avoid becoming complacent about traffic rules put in place for our safety. Last year (2022) Colorado State Patrol saw a 13.5% increase in pedestrian-involved crashes over 2021.
“It comes down to motorists and pedestrians doing their part to stay alert.,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Distractions while driving, walking or biking are everywhere. Whether you have your head down looking at your phone or earbuds in that cancel out helpful traffic noises, keeping your focus on where you are going is the solution.”
Every age group is vulnerable and incidents happen in broad daylight as well as at night. Drivers hold an important responsibility to look for pedestrians and follow traffic rules designed to protect them. However, pedestrians need to stay alert as much as drivers do. If a pedestrian contributes to a crash in some way, such as not following traffic signals, walking into the street while intoxicated or crossing without checking for traffic, he or she may be assigned partial or full fault for the collision.
When the Colorado State Patrol looked at the top citations involving pedestrians from 2022, we found numerous citations with pedestrian at-fault had increased. Most doubled or tripled in amount.
2021-2022 Top Citations Involving Pedestrians (Colorado State Patrol)
- Pedestrian (Disregarded/Failed to Obey) Traffic Control Signal, 9 in 2021 and 17 in 2022
- Pedestrian (Disregarded Traffic Control Device),10 in 2021 and 32 in 2022
- Pedestrian Failed to Yield Right-of Way to Vehicle, 3 in 2021 and 9 in 2022
- Pedestrian Solicited Rides in the Roadway, 7 in 2021 and 27 in 2022
- Pedestrian Failed to (walk/ride) (along/upon) Roadway as Required, 5 in 2021 and 27 in 2022
- Pedestrian Suddenly (walked/ran/rode bicycle) into Path of Vehicle, 6 in 2021 and 14 in 2022
- Pedestrian on Highway Under the Influence of Alcohol/Controlled Substance, 6 in 2021 and 17 in 2022
Being a better pedestrian means demonstrating responsibility for your personal safety. The Colorado State Patrol and National Safety Council offer these important tips:
- Whenever possible, walk on the sidewalk; if no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic
- Follow the rules of the road, obey all traffic signs and signals
- When available, cross streets at crosswalks
- Look left, right and left again before crossing the street, making eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
- Stay alert – avoid cell phone use and wearing earbuds
- Avoid alcohol and drug impairment when walking or biking
- At night, wear bright/or reflective clothing or use a flashlight
- A SPECIAL NOTE TO PARENTS: Children younger than 10 should cross the street with an adult
Troopers continue to take a low-tolerance approach to lane violations while launching a yearlong campaign called “Stay in Your Lane.” This campaign is designed to remind people to control their lane position based on their current driving environment. This campaign also aims to bring attention to three of the most common and avoidable behaviors that contribute to lane violations – driving aggressively, driving distracted or driving while impaired.
ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs. In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.