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Safety performance

An aerial view of several cars at the intersection of two large roads.

Photo courtesy of CDOT.

Current federal surface transportation legislation directs the Federal Highway Administration's Highway Safety Improvement Program to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads, including non-state-owned public roads and roads on tribal lands. The program requires a data-driven, strategic approach to improving highway safety on all public roads that focus on performance.

In a reflection of the importance of safety to the Denver region, the Denver Regional Council of Governments Board of Directors elected to establish region-specific safety performance measures, as follows.

Safety Performance Measures

2023 Targets

Number of fatalities256
Rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled0.930
Number of serious injuries1,584
Rate of serious injuries per 100 million vehicle miles traveled5.730
Number of non-motorized fatalities and serious injuries330

Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan

The Federal Transit Administration published the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan Final Rule in 2018. The plan requires certain operators of public transportation systems that receive funds from the Federal Transit Authority's Urbanized Area Formula Grants to develop safety plans that include processes and procedures to implement safety management systems.

The plan brings management and labor together to:

  • Better control risk.
  • Detect and correct safety problems earlier.
  • Share and analyze safety data more effectively.
  • Measure safety performance more precisely.

The Regional Transportation District is a recipient of federal financial assistance under the Urbanized Area Formula Program that operates public transportation. RTD has developed, adopted and certified a Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan and developed targets for the required measures.

Following consultation with the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Authority, DRCOG's Board elected to support RTD's Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan targets, including:

  • Zero fatalities in the Regional Transportation District operating systems.
  • A preventable accident rate per 100,000 miles (bus, less than 1.0 and light rail, less than 1.0).
  • 10% reduction in bus-preventable accidents.
  • 10% reduction in light-rail-preventable accidents.
  • 10% reduction in commuter rail accidents.
  • 25% reduction of lost time employee injuries.
  • 15% reduction of on-the-job injuries.
    • 25% reduction in slip and fall injuries.
    • 25% reduction of injuries from strains.
  • Measure and hold to current levels of performance for system reliability without a decline in reliability or increases in costs as described in the current Transit Asset Management Plan.


Traffic safety

Traffic crashes are a major safety problem in the Denver region. There are about 220 reported traffic crashes per day in the region. These crashes result in about 70 injured people a day and four traffic fatalities each week.

DRCOG, along with the Colorado Department of Transportation and local jurisdictions, tracks, analyzes and reports on traffic safety issues within the Denver region. 

Learn more about crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians:

Reports on traffic safety

Contact drcog@drcog.org to request recent traffic safety reports for the Denver region.