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CDOT calls for heightened awareness of pedestrian safety as days grow shorter and darker October

October 4, 2023

Colorado Department of Transportation


October is Pedestrian Safety Awareness Month


Statewide — This year, pedestrian fatalities are on track to reach an all-time high for the state. This Pedestrian Safety Month, CDOT is urging all roadway users to drive, walk and ride with care.

October through December historically have the most pedestrian fatalities in Colorado, largely due to the shorter days and longer nights.

Photo Credit: Colorado Department of Transportation

Pedestrians are especially vulnerable in the dark since they can be hard to see by motorists. For example, more than 66% of fatal pedestrian crashes occurred at night in the first six months of 2023. Therefore, as we head into darker months, CDOT urges drivers and pedestrians alike to use caution.

As of September 30, there were 87 pedestrian fatalities on Colorado roadways, up from 78 at this time last year. Men make up a staggering 75% of all pedestrian fatalities this year. One of the primary ways CDOT addresses vulnerable roadway user safety is through system enhancements for bicyclists and pedestrians. CDOT considers context sensitive solutions in designs that further safety infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians. Using safety and specific location data, CDOT is able to design for safe crossings and facilities at hotspots and challenging intersections. In addition, the Revitalizing Main Streets program enhances local economic vitality in towns and cities across Colorado through funding infrastructure improvements to make walking and biking easy, yielding long-term benefits that bolster community connections.


In addition to infrastructure projects across the state, CDOT’s Highway Safety Office addresses pedestrian safety through grants to law enforcement and for local awareness efforts.

“We are committed to enhancing pedestrian safety across our state, and at CDOT, we believe in a comprehensive approach,” said CDOT's Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “Our strategy combines collaborative efforts on education and awareness as well as safer roadway design to minimize danger to pedestrians. We are dedicated to making Colorado's streets and sidewalks more secure for everyone who uses them.”


In observance of National Pedestrian Safety Month, CDOT is sharing the following tips:

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.

  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections.

  • Stay off your phone when crossing the street.

  • Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.

  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.

  • At night, wear light colors and walk where streetlights will illuminate you.

  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Look out for pedestrians and bicyclists everywhere, at all times, and especially in areas near schools, parks, shopping areas and transit stops.

  • Follow the speed limit. Speeding motorists endanger everyone on the road but put pedestrians at the greatest risk for death or serious injury.

  • Stop before a crosswalk, not in it.

  • Never drive impaired.

  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk.

  • At night, reduce your speed and make sure your headlights are on.

“Put the phone down — sending or reading a short text takes your eyes off the road for almost five seconds,” said CDOT Bike and Pedestrian Program Manager Annelies van Vonno. “At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.”


Crash Not Accident


Note to reporters: Crashes are no accident — they are preventable. We would appreciate you saying 'crash' instead of 'accident' when reporting.


About the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program

Walking and bicycling can be a fun and healthy way to enjoy our beautiful state, and CDOT encourages residents to make bicycling and walking a part of their regular routine. For more information on safety practices for pedestrians and drivers or how to get involved with programs like Safe Routes to School or Colorado’s annual Bike to Work Day, visit www.codot.gov/programs/bikeped


About CDOT

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s mission is to provide the best multi-modal transportation system that most effectively and safely moves people, goods and information. CDOT maintains more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,400 bridges and 35 mountain passes. Our team of employees works tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. CDOT leverages partnerships with a range of private and public organizations and operates Bustang, an interregional express bus service. Find more details at codot.gov.

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