Colorado launches The Mountain Rules trucker safety program
August 20, 2019
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, CDOT’s 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.”
The program goes beyond education.
Additionally, it will include putting up signs on I-70 eastbound and all eastbound chain stations with information on brake check locations.
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. Truckers can also conduct equipment checks at the interchange before traveling down the descent into the Golden area.
Furthermore, 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.
It appears Some drivers believe they can receive a citation for using the ramp, Colorado State Police Col. Matthew Packard addressed that issue said in a statement.
“I want to dispel any misconceptions, myths or rumors about truck ramps for all commercial carriers who travel our mountain corridors,” said Col. Packard said. “Commercial carriers will not be cited by law enforcement for using truck ramps. Should your brakes fail, please save lives, and use the ramps.”
Currently a pilot program, The Mountain Rules will only include the I-70 Mountain Corridor. Eventually, CDOT will include other mountain locations throughout the state.
“Our mountains, and the highways winding through them, provide some of the greatest vistas in the world and make Colorado special,” said Jim Coleman, chairman of the Colorado Motor Carrier Association. “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%. seven percent. 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.