Colorado Bill Would Make Drivers and Wildlife Safer, Save Taxpayers Millions

In testimony, Pew expresses support for legislation to fund wildlife crossings, reduce roadway collisions

Colorado Bill Would Make Drivers and Wildlife Safer

On March 29, 2022, experts from The Pew Charitable Trusts testified before the Colorado Senate Transportation and Energy Committee in support of SB22-151, the Safe Crossings for Colorado Wildlife and Motorists Act. The legislation, as amended by the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 2, would establish the $5 million Colorado Wildlife Safe Passages Fund to support the building of wildlife crossings along major roadways to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and ensure that wildlife can freely move across landscapes.

This investment is just a small fraction of the estimated $100 million that Colorado motorists and taxpayers pay each year in property damage, emergency response, medical treatments, and lost value of wildlife because of collisions. But it could dramatically reduce those accidents and the associated costs, as well as the loss of wildlife and corresponding harm to the health of their populations.

Colorado law enforcement reports an annual average of nearly 4,000 wildlife-vehicle collisions, although the Colorado Department of Transportation estimates that the true figure is closer to 14,100 when unreported collisions are considered. In its testimony, Pew noted that reducing these collisions would make Colorado’s roads safer for people and animals—a win for motorists, wildlife, and communities.

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