Behind the Wheel: An in depth look at the safety of Colorado Springs roads

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In a city with more than 400,000 people, the likelihood of getting into a wreck in Colorado Springs is fairly high. FOX21 got to go on a ride along with the Colorado Springs Police Department to find out just how safe the roads are.

CSPD is using driving data to identify where the most traffic violations and crashes happen throughout the city.

“We try to focus on Powers, some areas of Powers right now because of the construction going on here,” said Officer Jeff Rymer, who has been with CSPD for 13 years.

Just this year, 224 tickets have been issued near the intersection of Powers and Briargate, and 312 have been given out at Powers and Old Ranch Road.

“Our annual survey from the community shows that traffic issues are one of the top issues that the citizens are concerned about here in the town. It’s a growing town with a lot of people here and a lot of traffic,” said Rymer. “Anytime we have a hotspot we try to focus on those areas to see if we can reduce traffic related issues in those areas.”

South Academy Boulevard tops the list, with 427 tickets issued so far in 2015.

“When we pull someone over and they get a ticket, if they get a ticket, yeah that really affects them, but the visibility of a police car with someone pulled over really affects everyone that’s driving by,” Rymer said.

Speeding is by far the most common violation. This year, 8,818 tickets have been handed out to drivers exceeding the speed limit by 10 to 19 miles per hour.

“Ten over in a normal zone is $100. Ten over in a construction zone is $200 and a mandatory trip to court,” said Rymer.

If you rack up too many tickets, you could end up losing your privilege to drive.

“If you get too many points within a year then the state can suspend your license,” Rymer said.

There have been more than 7,770 crashes with 560 injuries in Colorado Springs, and that’s just through the third quarter of the year.

“As far as traffic issues Austin Bluffs and Academy is one of our locations where we have several accidents,” Rymer said.

I-25 and Cimarron sees the most crashes by a long shot, with 82 happening through the end of June.

“Anywhere in the city at any given time if we see a violation and it warrants a ticket we will stop and do that,” Rymer said. “Then again we try to focus on the area where most crashes are because we want to reduce the likelihood of people getting hurt or killed in those areas.”

Rymer said fatalities were down from last year, yet just in the two weeks since our ride along, there have been three more, catching up to 2014.

“Wrecks have been kind of increasing lately. The more traffic you have on the roadway, more people using the roadway, there’s more potential for crashes to happen with people getting hurt,” Rymer said.

CSPD said collaboration between them and the community is key.

If you see an area where traffic violations are happening often, they want you to let them know so the issues can be addressed. You can reach the Colorado Springs Police Department at 719-444-7000, or reach specific divisions by calling the numbers below.

  • Falcon Division (northwestern Colorado Springs) 719-444-7246
  • Gold Hill Division (southwestern Colroado Springs) 719-385-2117
  • Sand Creek Division (southeastern Colorado Springs) 719-444-7276
  • Stetson Hills Division (northeastern Colorado Springs) 719-444-3168

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