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Increase in crashes leads state troopers to increase traffic enforcement on I-25, U.S. 50 in Pueblo County

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- In the second major announcement regarding traffic safety this week, the Colorado State Patrol said that a significant increase in auto crashes has created the need for stronger enforcement along the area's two major highways.

KRDO

In a release issued Thursday, the CSP said that in crashes it investigated from May through July of 2020, and May through July of 2021, there were more in 2021, with increases increases ranging from 13% to 67%.

CDOT

Interstate 25 and U.S. 50 had significantly more crashes than any other area highway during that time, the CSP said.

As a result, troopers plan to provide stronger traffic enforcement along highways in the county this summer, concentrating on I-25 and U.S. 50.

KRDO

That stepped-up enforcement could start as soon as this weekend, which kicks off the Memorial Day holiday period and the start of summer travel season.

The enforcement effort will include highways in the Walsenburg and Trinidad areas, the agency said, as fatal crashes -- in those areas plus Pueblo County -- rose 35% since 2020 and half of those accidents were caused by impaired driving.

CDOT

According to the agency's release, speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, aggressive driving and lack of seatbelt use are all on the rise -- resulting in nearly 700 highway deaths statewide last year, the highest number in 20 years.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Department of Transportation is analyzing the results of a traffic safety study at the intersection of U.S. 50 and 36th Lane, just east of the Pueblo city limits.

KRDO

Those results should be available by the end of the year, said CDOT spokeswoman Michelle Peulen, and the study will determine whether installation of a traffic signal or other safety measures are needed.

KRDO

That intersection has been the site of several serious crashes, most recently in February when an elderly woman and her two great-grandchildren were killed in a collision that included a pickup truck and a semitrailer.

KRDO

Earlier this week, the CSP joined CDOT, Colorado Springs police and the El Paso County Sheriff's department in announcing a new safety campaign aimed at reducing speeding; that campaign will include increased enforcement.

Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

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