Interstate 70 from Silverthorne, Colorado, to Denver is one of the busiest highways in the country and one of the most treacherous, with steep grades, tight turns, and unpredictable weather.
So the Colorado Department of Transportation has launched The Mountain Rules, a campaign to help truck drivers safely navigate the state’s mountain passes. As part of the program, CDOT collaborated with Drivewyze on a new in-cab system that tells drivers the location of brake check areas and runaway truck ramps.
“It’s no secret that our mountains create immense challenges for semi-truck drivers,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “The Mountain Rules has a simple mission—get everyone home safely—and this campaign is a major step toward achieving that goal.”
Drivewyze has added road grades and the availability of ramps and brake-check locations at seven Colorado mountain passes to its Drivewyze Safety Notifications package. Drivewyze will add passes in 22 more states to the alert system by the end of the summer.
Both the Drivewyze Safety Notifications service and its PreClear weigh station bypass application are available on the Transflo Mobile+ platform.
I-70 is the primary east-west route in Colorado, with up to 7 percent grades. The Lower Straight Creek runaway truck ramp on westbound I-70 at milepost 211.83 is the most used truck ramp in the United States—on average, being used once a week during the summer months.
“The goal is to not have to use the ramps at all, by having drivers better prepared,” said Brian Mofford, VP of Government Experience at Drivewyze. “Our alerts will keep safety front and center and prompt drivers to check their brakes, allowing them to cool down, and remind them to downshift to a lower gear.”
“I want to dispel any misconceptions about truck ramps for all commercial carriers who travel our mountain corridors,” added Colorado State Police Col. Matthew Packard. “Commercial carriers will not be cited by law enforcement for using truck ramps. Should your brakes fail, please save lives and use the ramps.”
Drivewyze introduced two other types of safety notifications last month, one for curves and exit ramps where rollovers are more likely to occur, and another for low-bridge warnings.