DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol are teaming up to make the state’s roads safer after a big spike in traffic deaths over the past three years.

Deadly accidents rose 29 percent in Colorado since 2014.

In half the deaths on the roadways last year, people were not wearing seat belts. Research shows that Colorado is one of the worst states for people buckling up at 36th nationwide.

i70 csp crash 1 from csp eagle tweet CDOT, State Troopers Team Up To Make Colorado Roads Safer

(credit: Colorado State Patrol Eagle)

State patrol says that’s an easy fix that can save lives.

“I’ve got a 5-year-old son who yells at me if my seat belt doesn’t go on right away. I like to think, well HE figured it out,” said Colorado State Patrol Chief Matthew Packard.

Deadly accidents where alcohol or drugs were involved also jumped 20 percent over last year.

CDOT awarded $3.5 million to organizations for programs aimed at reducing crashes.

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