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Colorado State Troopers focus enforcement on I-70 trucks

Posted at 7:27 PM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-18 04:55:00-04

GOLDEN, Colo. — State troopers assigned to Jefferson and Clear Creek counties are using the month of May to focus enforcement on commercial motor vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Blake White said the stepped-up enforcement is not the result of runaway truck crash that ignited an inferno and killed four people on I-70 April 25. But White added that it is about safety.

"They're looking for any violations that commercial motor vehicle drivers may be committing, including speeding, following too close or not staying within their lanes," he said.

White told Denver7 that so far this week, troopers from the Golden office have pulled over 98 trucks and issued 50 tickets.

He said some of those pulled over are from out of state and are not familiar with driving in the mountains.

"When you come to Colorado, you're not driving across the plains," he said. "It's not a straightaway. Its curves and it can be steep grades, so we expect a lot out of those drivers because they have a huge responsibility when they're coming down with those large vehicles, and that amount of weight."

White said troopers explain to the drivers that they need to reduce their speed and drive cautiously for everybody's safety.

Denver7 spoke with several truckers at a nearby travel center.

One told Denver7 that if some drivers can't read the signs, regulations should be tightened.

Trucker Milt Nazarenus said he's lucky he missed the April 25 inferno.

"I was stopped at 44th and Ward Road," he said. "There was a wreck down by 44th and Ward. I was like ten minutes ahead of that."

Nazarenus said he keeps his truck in low gear when he drives down from the mountains and can tell which drivers don't.

"They're going way too fast, and their brakes are smoking," he said.

Nazarenus told Denver7 that he doesn't believe truckers have become the focus of more law enforcement attention, because of the fatal crash.

"No, I don't think so," he said. "It was just something that happened."