As reported by 9 News, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol have partnered to reduce the number of deaths related to accidents in the state. Known as the “Zero Zero” campaign, the troopers select two weekends during the year on which they will place a zero-tolerance policy in effect for dangerous driving, with the goal being zero fatal accidents. The campaign, according to Colorado State Patrol Chief Scott Hernandez, was partly inspired by the rise in fatal accidents in the state as compared to 2014’s figures.
During the campaign, all uniformed officers are on patrol to serve as a reminder for people to drive safely. The Colorado State Patrol also posted reminders about safe driving on their Facebook and Twitter accounts all weekend.
Despite the social media outreach, Colorado State Patrol officers had a busy weekend over October 17 and 18. As reported by the Denver Post, the troopers processed traffic citations and arrests that numbered in the thousands and covered everything from distracted driving to drunk driving.
A news release issued on October 21 from Sgt. Rob Madden stated that over the course of 65 hours, the troopers arrested 134 drivers across Colorado for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and those arrests included 30 accidents. While the goal was zero deaths, two people were killed in a Weld County crash on Saturday, October 17.
Over the weekend, state troopers also investigated 199 car crashes, and people were injured in 39 of those accidents. Officers issued 436 citations for distracted driving and another 382 for failure to wear a seat belt. Five stolen cars were covered, and another 68 people were cited for violations involving hazardous materials.
Earlier in the year, another Zero Zero campaign was held on the weekend of April 18, with an estimated 600 officers participating. As with the October effort, the troopers made arrests and issued several citations. A remarkable 147 arrests were made for alcohol and/or drug-related driving, and 54 crashes in which alcohol or drugs were a factor were investigated. There were two accidents with fatalities in El Paso County and Garfield County, while another 478 citations were issued for distracted driving. Fifteen stolen cars were recovered, and 25 accidents with injuries were investigated.
According to Patrol Chief Scott Hernandez, during Zero Zero campaigns, troopers focus on people who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and people who are speeding. Another target is those who are engaged in distracted driving behaviors, such as texting or eating while behind the wheel. Troopers were also enforcing the state’s “Move Over” law, which is in place to keep officers safe while they are doing their jobs on the side of the road. This law requires drivers to move into a lane away from safety officers when passing or slow down to at least 20 miles under the speed limit while passing.