Expanding last year’s Change Your Peak Time campaign, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP), I-70 Coalition and other partners are working together to improve safety and mobility for everyone who uses I-70 to enjoy quality time in the mountains.
The new Change Your Peak Drive campaign encourages motorists to change not only the time they drive, but also how they drive. From understanding chain laws to knowing the Move It law and making sure minor accidents don’t block I-70, CDOT and CSP want to give drivers all the information and tools they need to keep the weekend mountain commute safe and efficient. At the same time, CDOT and CSP will be increasing efforts on their end to clear roads, reduce back ups and keep travelers safe, especially during winter weather.
“We have a lot in store for this winter, and we’re going to do everything we can to improve I-70 for mountain travelers,” said Amy Ford, Director of Communications for CDOT. “We’re bringing on more plows, more information resources and improving our traffic management. That said, we also need drivers to do their part – prepare their cars for winter driving, follow the Chain Laws and Move It law, and make sure they drive safely, especially around trucks and snow plows. Working together we believe we can make I-70 a better experience for everyone.”
Throughout the winter, CSP will be increasing chain law enforcement for truckers, as well as passenger vehicles. Many Coloradans may not know that Colorado’s Chain Laws also apply to passenger vehicles, but when conditions get bad enough, a passenger vehicle chain law can come into effect. CDOT and CSP will alert motorists about an active Chain Law through roadside signage, but motorists should always be prepared by keeping traction devices like chains or alternative traction devices in their trunk.
Along with education about chain laws, CSP and CDOT will work to increase awareness about the “Move It” law, which requires motorists involved in minor accidents to move their vehicle immediately out of traffic to a safe location when the vehicle is drivable, no drugs or alcohol are involved, and there are no injuries.
“Traffic accidents – not volume – account for as much as 60 percent of all traffic delays,” said Major Steve Garcia with the Colorado State Patrol. “A minor accident that takes just 10 minutes to clear can delay traffic up to one hour. It’s especially important to note that law enforcement and insurance companies will not penalize you for moving your vehicle off the road in the event of an accident.”
To encourage drivers to invest in winter tires, which are specially designed to grip cold and snowy roads, CDOT is also partnering with tire companies throughout the state to provide discounts on winter tires. CDOT and its tire partners will be leading tire checks at resorts, letting skiers and snowboarders know if their tires are in good condition or if they need new ones. CDOT is also partnering with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) Way To Go program to encourage carpooling, vanpooling and a dedicated I-70 SkiPool that allows commuters to use their vanpool for one mountain trip each weekend.
The I-70 Coalition, a consortium representing the mountain communities and resorts, will continue to give travel tips and travel forecasts, and to offer discounts, deals and incentives for travelers interested in avoiding traffic by staying in the mountains for an extra hour or two. Peak Time Deals at GoI70.com are updated regularly, and list locations of restaurants, entertainment options and retailers along the I-70 Mountain Corridor offering weekend discounts.
I-70 motorists can also look forward to a new source of real time traffic information – a live audio stream on Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons during the peak traffic times available through CoTrip.org and the CDOT Mobile app.
Winter driving tips can be found online at http://www.coloradodot.info/