DENVER — Colorado State Patrol (CSP) is seeing an increase in accidents caused by a pedestrian being in a roadway where they are not permitted.
CSP said it investigated 157 crashes between 2019 and 2021 involving a person in a roadway where they were not permitted. These crashes resulted in a fatality or serious injury 75% of the time.
In addition, there was a 52.9% increase in 2021 over 2020 for crashes involving a person in a roadway where they were not permitted, according to CSP.
Unlike neighborhood streets or roads with designated bike lanes or large shoulders, there are many highways and rural roadways that are not designed for pedestrian use. CSP said that when pedestrians are present on access-controlled roads, such as highways, they are placing themselves and motorists at great risk and can be ticketed, or worse, injured or killed.
"Crossing a highway on foot or walking alongside a road that is not designed for pedestrians is extremely dangerous," said CSP Sergeant Troy Kessler.
"Seeing a person walking on a road not designed for pedestrians would be unexpected for a driver. If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance as a pedestrian on a highway, exercise extreme caution, keep alert and distraction free to avoid a worst possible case scenario. If you’re the driver, expect everything, pay attention and put away the distraction to avoid hitting someone."
Fatal and injury crashes caused by a pedestrian being in a roadway where not permitted, the top five counties:
- Adams County
- Jefferson County
- El Paso County
- Arapahoe County
- Boulder County
Top roadways for fatal and injury crashes caused by a pedestrian being in a roadway where not permitted:
- Tied: H50 and H285
If drivers see a pedestrian in an unsafe highway situation, CSP recommends safely pulling off the highway, parking and calling 9-1-1 for assistance.
If your vehicle breaks down and you are unable to exit the highway first, pull off the road as far as you can, put your hazard lights on, and call for help. If you can place yourself safely on the opposite side of a guardrail or up on a hill, exit the car on the non-traffic side and move to the safest possible location.
If you can’t call for help and need to walk, go to the nearest exit or safe location by walking facing traffic as close to the edge of the road as safely possible.
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