ARAPAHOE COUNTY, CO — More than 600 people died on Colorado roadways in 2020, according to Colorado State Patrol.
Excessive speed was the No. 1 cause of death among Colorado drivers last year, followed by distracted driving and DUIs, officials said.
Speeding increased during the pandemic in Arapahoe County and across the state as roads opened up, deputies said.
“The fact that evidence is lining up to show that there were fewer cars on the road, yet the same amount of fatalities on our roadways should be alarming to us all,” said Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol chief.
“Some of us forget the importance of responsibility we take on as drivers as we become caught in the routine of driving. The Colorado State Patrol wants our presence to serve as a reminder to drive with care and proper speed.”
The following five counties topped Colorado for the "largest quantity of speeding charges at the highest speed intervals received by the Colorado State Patrol," the agency said:
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1. El Paso
Traffic fatalities that involved an impaired driver went up by 15 percent in 2020, according to preliminary data from the Colorado Department of Transportation. The agency's executive director, Shoshana Lew, issued a plea to Colorado drivers.
“With the start of a new year, this is a good time for all of us to renew our commitment to driving safely," Lew said in a statement.
"Right now many of our hospitals are overwhelmed due to COVID-19 and tending to victims of traffic crashes only adds to the burden. Let’s come together in 2021 and keep our speed down, buckle up and never drive impaired."