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As a way to educate truckers, the Colorado Department of Transportation released a video on the challenges and best practices associated with navigating Interstate 70’s mountainous terrain.
Running from Utah to Maryland, I-70 is the primary east-west route in Colorado. Along the route’s course through Colorado, challenges include steep grades, high winds, sudden weather changes, low bridge clearances, rockfalls, mudslides and avalanches. Additionally, long and heavy vehicles moving along a mountain corridor can sometimes experience brake failure.
The video was released shortly before the start of winter, which officially begins Dec. 21. However, hazardous conditions may occur in Colorado at any time of the year.
“Our mountains can be an immense challenge for all drivers but especially for those who drive semi-trucks,” CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said. “The mantra is simple — ‘Slow, Steady, Safe for the Long Haul’ — no matter the time of year you’re traveling I-70.”
The video, narrated by ABF Freight System Inc. driver Nate McCarty, encourages truckers to have a trip plan, as well as a backup plan. According to the video, truckers should remain watchful for wildlife crossing the road and tourists getting out of cars to take pictures. Based in Colorado, McCarty is one of American Trucking Associations’ America’s Road Team captains.
ABF Freight parent company ArcBest ranks No. 14 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.
Drivers also should familiarize themselves with locations at which they can check their brakes, get fuel and attach chains to their tires. Because of sudden weather changes, Colorado regulations require truck drivers to carry chains from Sept. 1 to May 31.
“Safety is our first priority, and the video reiterates the necessary key practices and what the existing options are when driving the I-70 West corridor, including the availability of runaway truck ramps,” Colorado State Patrol Col. Matthew Packard said. “Those ramps exist for all commercial carriers. Should your brakes fail, please save lives and use those ramps. You will not be cited by law enforcement for using them in an emergency.”
Saluting the men and women of the trucking industry who kept America's essential goods flowing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The video was released as part of the Mountain Rules program, a safety initiative meant to educate in-state and interstate trucking companies and drivers about the challenges of driving through mountains.
CDOT released the video in partnership with the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Motor Carriers Association. CDOT’s Freight Office and CMCA are distributing the video to freight industry representatives, such as state and national trucking companies and associations, ports of entry and truck driving schools.
“The Mountain Rules video provides an excellent framework for safe driving for truck drivers through the forever-changing and unpredictable conditions that one may experience in traveling through Colorado’s high country,” CMCA President Gregory Fulton said.
The Mountain Rules was launched in August 2019. CDOT established the partnership after recent runaway truck incidents resulted in fatalities.
The Mountain Rules is part of CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety initiative to increase safety awareness. The goal is to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve safety conditions across all modes.
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