Colorado State Patrol cracking down on distracted drivers with unique, undercover operation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –The scariest part of Halloween weekend doesn’t involve ghouls and goblins but drunk or distracted drivers. Through Monday, Oct. 31, the Colorado State Patrol is upping enforcement, including an undercover operation and a unique way of catching people texting and driving.

Trooper Josh Lewis said, “People don’t often realize that yes it can happen to you. We all think that we’re invincible. Nobody gets behind the wheel of a car and anticipates that they’re going to get into a crash that day.”

Lewis says distracted driving has become one of the most dangerous driving behaviors CSP sees so a new take on an old technique is catching culprits in the act.

“We were actually with the assistance of a semi-truck where we had a trooper inside of it as a passenger who was able to observe other drivers as they passed by unassumingly doing dangerous driving behaviors,” said Lewis.

The trooper in the big-rig radios ahead to other officers strategically placed who can then make the traffic stop.

“It can be your phone.” Lewis said, “It can be a passenger, an animal, music, ultimately the distraction is secondary if it takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off of what you’re doing, it’s a danger.”

This is especially important to keep in mind this time of year when trick or treaters are out and about and CSP reminds us there’s absolutely no excuse for driving drunk.

“If you’re going to be having fun, enjoy it but just have a plan ahead of time,” said Lewis. “Make sure you have a designated driver or a place to stay as well as be very cognizant of pedestrians around you.”

According to CSP, they’ve used other vehicles to catch distracted drivers along the highway but this is the first time they’ve ever used a semi-truck.

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