top of page

April 10, 2024

Bipartisan Bill to Improve Mountain Highway Safety, Ease Traffic Passes Committee

DENVER, CO – The House Transportation, Housing & Local Government today passed legislation to improve safety and traffic flow on Colorado’s mountain highways. SB24-100, sponsored by Representative Elizabeth Velasco, is focused on improving safety on the western slope, including through Glenwood Canyon. 

“Living in Glenwood Springs, our community is incredibly reliant on mountain highways, specifically I-70, to keep our economy running, emergency services accessible and to ensure our stores are well-stocked,” said Rep. Elizabeth Velasco, D-Glenwood Springs. “While we cannot control bad winter weather, improving preparedness and strengthening safety precautions on our mountain roads will help prevent speed-related crashes, spin-outs and accidents that completely shut down our mountain highways. This bill is about improving mountain highway safety which will keep the flow of traffic moving so everyone, from tourists to locals, can travel more efficiently along the mountainous areas of I-70.” 

SB24-100, also sponsored by Representative Rick Taggart, R-Grand Junction, would improve safety by allowing the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to establish a zone with increased speeding fines for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in Glenwood Canyon. 

The bill would also ban CMVs from driving in the left lane on I-70 in several key stretches where crashes are most frequent and disruptive, except to pass vehicles going under the speed limit. SB24-100 passed committee by a vote of 11-0. 

According to CDOT, CMVs represent about 7-percent of traffic, but account for more than 52-percent of traffic incidents. Wrecks involving CMVs take nearly twice as long to clear as passenger incidents. 

SB24-100 would further expand locations where CDOT may require traction equipment from parts of I-70 to key mountainous stretches of other state and U.S. highways. The bill would also give port of entry officers the powers of a peace officer when enforcing highway closures and direct CDOT to study additional locations for chain-up and chain-down stations.

bottom of page