The Colorado Department of Transportation partnered with Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Motor Carriers Association, PrePass Safety Alliance and Drivewyze to establish a trucker safety program for those navigating Colorado’s mountainous terrain. On August 16th, 2019, they launched the program, The Mountain Rules, part of CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety. This initiative was created to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and get everyone home safely.
Truck driving in Colorado can present a variety of challenges from its topography to severe weather conditions. Particularly along the mountain corridor, trucks can sometimes experience brake failure. After runaway truck incidents resulting in fatalities, CDOT established the partnership and began the journey to a safer Colorado.
The Mountain Rules is a safety effort to inform instate and interstate drivers/companies about potential hazards and safe travel essentials. In addition to the educational component, The Mountain Rules also consists of various infrastructure and informational improvements. These improvements include:
- Signage displaying brake check locations along the eastbound Interstate 70.
- Defining the eastbound exit ramp at Genesee Park Interchange as a short-term truck parking area for truckers to conduct equipment checks before entering the Golden area.
- Creating a subscription-based, in-cab alert system, for truckers to tell the location of brake check and runaway truck ramps as well as specific areas where brake failures are possible.
- Gathering information for new ramps and other measures to mitigate runaway trucks.
The Colorado State Police Colonel also clarified that commercial carriers will not be cited by law enforcement for using truck ramps if they are experiencing brake failure. The roadways across Colorado, particularly along the I-70, pose challenges for truckers with long and steep downgrades of up to 7%. As the program has piloted along the 1-70 mountain corridor, CDOT plans to expand the program to other mountainous areas. Through this safety program, truckers will be better equipped to navigate the terrain and provide a safer environment for all.
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