Colorado launches ‘The Mountain Rules’ trucker safety program

October 2019

Tyson Fisher

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Driving through mountainous regions is no easy task. Understanding that difficulty, the Colorado Department of Transportation is launching a safety program called The Mountain Rules.

In partnership with the Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Motor Carriers Association, PrePass Safety Alliance and Drivewyze, The Mountain Rules aims to enhance safety for truckers driving through Colorado’s mountain areas.

According to a news release, The Mountain Rules is an “effort to inform and educate in-state and interstate trucking companies and drivers on the challenges of driving in Colorado’s mountains.” The program includes information regarding potential hazards and on the need to be “slow, steady and safe for the long haul.”

Additionally, it will include putting up signs on I-70 eastbound and all eastbound chain stations with information on brake checks.

CDOT also will restripe the eastbound exit ramp at the Genesee Park Interchange. The restriping will provide a more defined short-term parking area for trucks where overheated brakes can cool down.

The Mountain Rules will provide a subscription-based in-cab alert system. Alerts will warn truck drivers about areas where brake failures could occur. The system also will alert drivers of the locations of brake check and runaway truck ramps.

Currently a pilot program, The Mountain Rules will only include the I-70 Mountain Corridor.

“Our mountains, and the highways winding through them, provide some of the greatest vistas in the world and make Colorado special,” said Jim Coleman, CMCA chairman. “These same roadways, such as I-70, pose a particular challenge for truck drivers and truck brakes, with long and steep downgrades of up to 7%. This outreach effort and program will go a long way in educating truck drivers of how to navigate through our mountains, which will enhance safety for all highway users.”

According to CDOT documents, the 12 runaway truck ramps were used 35 times between August 2016 and May 2019. The most-used ramps are Rabbit Ears Pass off of US 40 westbound at milepost 142 and Lower Straight Creek off of I-70 westbound at milepost 209, each used eight times. LL

Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.