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Drivers beware: State troopers, local law enforcement team up Friday for enhanced patrol effort

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) hopes to prevent a repeat of last July, when 90 people died in crashes.

That was 12% of the state's 716 highway fatalities last year.

It's why state troopers will join forces Friday with local law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement of dangerous driving habits that put drivers, and traffic around them, at risk.

According to the CSP, the summer travel season increases traffic and the possibility that more people will drive too fast or be distracted by smart phones, eating or interacting with accompanying passengers.

The CSP said that authorities will be far less tolerant Friday of unsafe behavior such as speeding, sudden lane changes and not wearing seat belts.

Trooper Gabriel Moltrer, a public information officer from the CSP's Denver-area office, met KRDO's The Road Warrior in Monument Friday morning to emphasize the importance of the statewide enforcement effort.

"We want people to see that we are out enforcing the road laws," he explained. "If they see that, it'll remind them that they can't be driving unsafely -- and if they do, they'll be far more likely to get a citation than a warning. That would result in a fine of around $100, or even require you to appear in court."

Moltrer said that there will be more troopers, deputies and officers on patrol Friday.

"We'll be focusing on the heavily-traveled areas such as Interstate 25 or US 50 in southern Colorado," he said. "We'll look for drivers who abruptly weave in and out of lanes, who follow other drivers too closely, and who are speeding."

However, Moltrer added that law enforcement members also are able to see dangerous habits while drivers are actually committing them inside their vehicles.

"Sometimes, we can see drivers using their cell phones, or reaching down to change songs on them," he said. "They can be so into what they're doing at that time, they're unaware of the traffic around them. Some people try to deny that they were distracted."

Moltrer said that he expects Friday to be busy because of more authorities patrolling and seeing dangerous driving.

"I think these increased enforcement efforts do work," he said. "Anything that may prevent a crash is worth doing. But crashes due to speeding and distracted driving continue to happen, so that's why we continue with these expanded enforcement operations."

We recently saw the result of dangerous driving when a Texas man was convicted of riding his motorcycle at more that 150 mph on I-25 through Colorado Springs; he paid a $300 fine, served two weeks in jail and has his drivers license suspended for a year.

Moltrer said that if you see a dangerous driver, report it immediately by calling *CSP, or your local law enforcement agency.

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Scott Harrison

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


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