The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Facts for 2015 reported there were 59 pedestrian fatalities in Colorado for 2015. The Governors Highway Safety Association’s Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State report shows a comparison of fatalities between the first six months of 2015 and the first six months of 2016. In 2015, there were 30 pedestrian fatalities in Colorado and 32 deaths in 2016, an increase of 6.7 percent. Based on the total number of Colorado’s traffic fatalities, pedestrian deaths comprise 10.8 percent of the total. Colorado’s Department of Transportation sent final 2016 statistics to the NHTSA reporting 84 pedestrian fatalities with preliminary numbers for 2017 showing 37 deaths.
Colorado Revised Statutes have several provisions in the Vehicle and Traffic Law regarding pedestrians. Pedestrian control signals may be employed stating “Walk” or “Don’t Walk” (these signals may also have pictograms of a walking figure or an upright hand). While the meanings of the signals are obvious, the statute also states that if the “don’t walk” signal is flashing, only those already crossing the roadway may continue (see Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-802). The only time a pedestrian may ignore these control signals is if directed by a police officer (see Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-801). If a traffic signal is not at the intersection or not working, a vehicle has to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within a crosswalk. Pedestrians are prohibited from leaving a curb when he or she may walk into the path of a moving vehicle that is close enough to be an immediate hazard (see Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-802). Pedestrians crossing a roadway crossing somewhere other than a marked crosswalk, an overhead crossing, or in a pedestrian tunnel must give the right-of-way to vehicles. Pedestrians should not cross any roadway in a diagonal manner unless authorized by a pedestrian or traffic control device (see Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-803). A pedestrian walking or using a wheelchair on a highway where there are no sidewalks must remain as close to the outside edge of the road, and on a two-way road, he or she must walk on the left side. As with vehicles, pedestrians must always allow emergency vehicles to have the right-of-way. Anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not allowed to walk on a roadway (see Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-805).
Colorado’s Department of Transportation has a Pedestrian Safety Awareness Campaign on their website. The website provides safe behaviors to practice while walking, the traffic signals that apply to pedestrians and various links to brochures and other websites about walking. The Department of Transportation has also used YouTube videos, billboards, and radio ads to promote a safety awareness program starring the fictional character Fred Estrian.