Craig briefs: Follow safety rules to prevent ATV accidents
Ninety-two percent of ATV-related deaths are the result of warned-against risks, such as youth riding adult-sized ATVs. Northwest Colorado Health and the ATV Safety Institute remind riders to follow the Golden Rules for ATV Safety:
• Always wear a helmet and protective gear.
• Never ride on public roads.
• Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.
• Ride an ATV appropriate for your age and readiness.
• Supervise riders younger than 16.
• Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
Driver licenses fees set to change Saturday
Beginning July 1, the fee for a Colorado driver license will increase by $1, from $26 to $27. Other fees will remain the same.
This change was a result of HB16-1415 for the purpose of offsetting the cost of providing Division of Motor Vehicles driver services.
The fee for a driver license under SB-251 (Colorado Road and Community Safety Act) will not change, because the cost for providing this service is already fully recouped.
The DMV encourages individuals to skip the trip to the DMV by using one of the 18 online services, including driver license renewal, available at mydmv.colorado.gov.
Traffic ramps up for the Fourth of July
The Colorado Department of Transportation reminds drivers to anticipate heavy traffic in many areas of the state over the Fourth of July weekend as the summer travel season kicks in high-gear.
All CDOT construction projects will be suspended statewide from Friday morning through Wednesday morning, July 5. The only exception is for emergency operations. Projects will resume their regular schedule on July 5.
“CDOT expects a big surge in traffic as the holiday approaches, particularly on the I-70 Mountain Corridor. It experiences the heaviest travel in July, August and September,” said CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt. “Safety is CDOT’s No. 1 priority and our crews work diligently to keep 23,000 miles of state roads in the best condition possible with resources available. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and drive with care.”
Key travel areas this summer are as follows.
• I-70 Mountain Corridor
More than 3.6 million vehicles traveled through the I-70 Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels last July through September, with the highest number of over 1.3 million in July.
Heavy traffic expected westbound I-70 this Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and eastbound I-70 late Tuesday, July 4, especially between Summit County and the Denver area.
When I-70 eastbound traffic gets heavy as travelers leave the mountains and return to the Front Range, CDOT activates the I-70 Mountain Express Lane for 13 miles from Empire to Idaho Springs. Travelers have a choice to take the Express Lane to reach their destination faster in exchange for paying a toll or they can continue to ride the other lanes for free. The express lane helps to manage traffic and offers a reliable trip during heavily congested travel times.
• Mountain roads, passes
Travelers can also expect heavy traffic on Colorado’s rural roads and highways. Many towns host special summer events and activities, generating more vehicles traveling from metropolitan areas into rural and mountain communities. Highways such as US 285 in central Colorado and US 550 in southwest Colorado have experienced considerable congestion immediately before and after special events. Allow extra time to reach your destination.
Most passes are open, including US Highway (US) 34 Trail Ridge Road, CO 5 Mount Evans Road from Echo Lake to the summit, CO 82 Independence Pass, Kebler Pass and Guanella Pass.
Cottonwood Pass Is closed for this summer season, with possible reopening in late 2018. County crews are making roadway improvements, including paving the west side of the pass.
CDOT warns all roadway users, especially commercial truck drivers to be attentive and use extreme caution when traveling over mountain passes, like US 160 Wolf Creek, in the Southwest region of the state. From 2011 to 2015, there have been 49 semi-truck crashes on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass. A majority of the crashes occurred at the switchback curve near the Wolf Creek scenic lookout area. CDOT conducted a road safety audit of Wolf Creek Pass during summer 2016. The results from that audit will help identify potential safety issues and possible opportunities for future safety improvements of the pass.
• Know before you go!
Know road conditions and check traffic cameras by visiting cotrip.org, or dialing 511 from anywhere in the state. Drivers can also sign up to receive wireless text alerts and/or emails about road conditions.
The “Move Over for Cody Act” stipulates that failing to move over carries the possibility of 12 to 18 months in jail, and a fine up to $5,000. The new law is named for Colorado State Patrol Trooper Cody Donahue, who was killed in 2016 when a tractor-trailer driver drifted onto the shoulder and hit Donahue while he was outside his cruiser responding to another crash.
The state’s Move-It Law, requires drivers involved in minor accidents on interstates to move their vehicles immediately out of traffic to a safe location.
A West Routt man who was shot Saturday morning after attempting to steal a four-wheeler in Hayden has been arrested.