Most people who live here in Colorado would agree with that statement. The state’s mountain passes can be treacherous enough, but when you encounter a truck with hazardous materials on board, you may get a bit more nervous. The potential for danger only rises during the winter months when the roads may not be travel-friendly. If you happen to be stuck on a pass with one of these trucks before authorities decide to close it, you could be at risk.
Currently, the Colorado Department of Transportation escorts these trucks as they move through the Continental Divide via Route 6 and through the pass since current law does not allow these trucks in Interstate 70’s Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels, but that doesn’t guarantee an accident-free trip. If you have traveled any of the state’s passes, then you know how dangerous it can be.
The state legislature may change things
If a bill introduced by Rep. McCluskie and Sen. Scott passes, it may make a change that they say could increase safety for truck drivers as well as others on the road, including you. The bill would commission a study by the CDOT to determine whether allowing trucks carrying hazardous materials to travel through the Eisenhower/John Tunnels instead of going through the pass would make more sense.
The study will determine the impact a crash involving a hazardous materials truck would have in the tunnels. This includes not only any potential harm to life but also to the environment. Two of the state’s ski resorts are nearby that you may have enjoyed — Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Keystone Resort. An accident near these areas, which can be heavily populated during the winter months, could be disastrous.
Could you imagine being at one of these resorts when a hazardous waste or chemical spill occurs in the tunnels? The fallout could endanger numerous lives. In addition, the interstate may need improvements to handle this sort of traffic. Part of this study would require determining whether the risks would be too great for certain materials.
In the meantime, accidents could still happen
Going through the pass remains a danger when it comes to ordinary travel during the winter, let alone if a hazardous materials truck shares the road with you. If you end up injured or ill in an accident with or near one of these trucks, you may have the ability to pursue compensation to cover the financial losses that usually accompany serious crashes.