COLORADO) – School is in session and that means added traffic volume in neighborhoods and around schools as buses and parents commute their students. The Colorado State Patrol is sending a message to motorists to reduce speeds and stay alert for pedestrians and other vehicles around and near schools this year.
Looking at Colorado State Patrol crash data over the past three years in school safety zones, the Patrol determined that crashes occurred three times as frequently during the school year during pick-up and drop-off hours compared to all other hours from the past three calendar years. Looking closer, pick-up hours were the most dangerous and the peak day of the week was on Fridays between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
“Kids deserve extra caution,” stated Colonel Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Exercising patience in school zones is critical as it takes only seconds for a tragedy to happen. Drivers need to stay alert and plan for congested neighborhood streets around our schools.”
The leading causal factors for crashes in school safety zones during this same three-year timeframe were inattentive driving, following too closely, and failure to yield the right of way. Out of the crashes in school safety zones investigated by the Colorado State Patrol, 11% resulted in injury and 89% were property damage.
The top three counties where school safety zone crashes investigated by the Colorado State Patrol occurred most frequently were:
- El Paso
In addition to crash investigation, proactive enforcement is also a priority in school safety zones. The top CSP citations for school zones include speeding, careless driving, and driving without a safety belt in use.
“We teach our kids how to drive every day through our behaviors. Regardless of how hurried you may feel driving recklessly and moving the car without the ‘seat belt check’ will never be worth it when a crash occurs,” reminds Colonel Packard.
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.