Tom Norton and Col. Mark Trostel

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Thank you for reporting on traffic safety campaigns in your newspaper during 2004. With your support, we have seen a record number of Coloradans wear seat belts and fewer deaths on our highways as a result of impaired driving.

Yet despite this progress, 605 people have lost their lives on Colorado highways through Dec. 14 of this year. Still ahead are the Christmas and New Year's Eve holidays when a celebration can turn to tragedy in an instant if an impaired driver gets behind the wheel.

During the last five years, there were 59 traffic deaths during the Christmas and New Year's Eve holidays in our state. More than 40 percent of the deaths involved alcohol, and 2/3 of the drivers and passengers who died were not wearing seat belts.

Many Colorado State Patrol troopers, police and sheriff's officers will spend their holidays on the road to keep us safe. But they cannot do it alone. We hope you will remind your readers to use sober designated drivers, wear seat belts and properly buckle up all children in appropriate child car seats and seat belts this holiday season.

On behalf of the employees at the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol, we wish all Coloradans safe and happy holidays.

Tom Norton
Executive director
Colorado Department of Transportation

Col. Mark Trostel
Chief
Colorado State Patrol

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