Tag Archives: Colorado State Patrol Trooper Gary Cutler

Saguache News – June 9

Road Rage: What You Should Know

By Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol

This month’s topic is very important in my mind.  We are seeing an increase in road rage, not only in our state, but across the United States.  The reason road rage starts, varies from situation to situation, but it needs to be taken seriously, because it can be deadly in the end.trooper-gary-cutler-column

I want all of you to be careful when driving the roadways of Colorado.  It seems with the increase of traffic and the inevitable gridlock we have when traveling on weekends and holidays, tempers are rising quicker than ever.

Here’s a few tips to avoid getting caught up in a road rage incident with another driver.  The first is when driving on roads 65MPH or more, stay out of the furthest left lane.  It is state law, and when you have drivers that seem to be in a giant hurry, they won’t be right on your bumper.  By staying in the left lane it elevates the possibility of a crash and the chance the aggressive driver will get mad and try to do something dangerous.

If you have someone following too closely and they start to really try to crowd you, safely get out of that lane or to the shoulder of the roadway.  Let them pass, and then take your time getting back on the roadway.  If the other driver is intent on trying to get you to stop, call 911, or *CSP to get emergency help.  The dispatchers will let you know what you should do next.

Road_Traffic_Semi_SaguacheToday

From semis to summer traffic, the roads in @Saguache Today are busy! Travel safe! Photo: Saguache Today

Never try to follow the other driver; this could provoke them to have a confrontation.  Always remember, the best course of action is to disengage as soon as safely possible. 

Be courteous to other drivers, and they should be courteous to you.  Use your blinker, let others in your lane, and be light with the horn.  Don’t let someone else’s anger on the roadway get you caught up in it. Get to where you are going safely.

Finally, give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going.  Plan that there will be a delay, so by leaving early, the pressure is off.  Colorado is beautiful in the summertime.  Slow down and enjoy it, and let’s see if we can get the rest to do the same.

As always, safe travels!

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Saguache News – June 1

Semi-Truck Safety: Sharing The Road

When looking at driving safety in our state, it has to be looked at from every angle.  This month, I want to talk about driving on the road with semi-trucks.  A semi with a trailer is approximately 70’ on average.  Think of that as having a 6 story building going down the highway.  They are big, bulky, and slow to stop and take up a lot of room when changing direction.  Drivers making an error in judgement around semis or a semi driver making an error in judgement around cars can have serious to fatal consequences. 

All it takes is a little pre-planning on both the semi driver and the driver’s in other smaller vehicles to make sure a crash doesn’t happen.  By this I mean have a plan for the unexpected.  Don’t follow too closely, in case the other vehicle has to stop quickly and without notice.  Know the stopping distance of your vehicle at highway speeds.  For instance, a fully loaded semi-truck with a gross vehicle weight of up to 80,000 pounds, going just 55mph, has a stopping distance of 100 yards; that’s the length of a football field. 

Drivers in cars and trucks need to make sure to give semi’s plenty of space when merging in front of them or you may have it sitting on top of your car.  For the semi driver, make sure you are checking and continue to re-check your mirrors when making those lane changes.  Smaller cars and trucks can easily hide in those blind spots.

SanLuisValley_Open Road

Wide open spaces and places is what you can find in Saguache Today.

Just because you are big, doesn’t mean you don’t have to give the right of way to other vehicles.  Make sure your right of way is free of other traffic prior to merging or turning onto a roadway.  On the other side, please give semi’s a break when they are trying to merge or make turns.  It takes a lot of space to maneuver these rigs and to get one going can take some time.

In areas where there is heavy semi traffic, try to avoid the area if possible to reduce your chance of having a crash with one of them.  If you drive the semi, try to make sure you don’t get in a small convoy with other semis so you can give the smaller and often local traffic a break.

By being courteous to one another on the roadways, we can eliminate crashes that involve semi-trucks with other vehicles.  Try and put yourself in the other person’s vehicle and think about what they would like from you so they can get where they are going, just as they can try to help you get to your destination.

And lastly, in case anyone has forgotten the other big one, here is a reminder:  blinkers, blinkers, blinkers. 

Remember, these tips are good to pass along to the younger drivers in your life.  Please spread the word.

As always, safe travels!

Saguache News – February 5

Conceal, Carry Offered Locally in Saguache 

On Saturday, Feb 17, Kuma Tactical (KT) will be having a concealed carry weapons (CCW) class at the Saguache County Sheriff Department

ccw-classClass starts at 10 a.m. All classes are taught by current law enforcement and National Rifle Association instructors. Kuma Tactical will provide breakfast, the necessary paperwork and your training certificate that you need to apply for your CCW. All you have to do is show up!

KT’s Lead Instructor Saguache County Deputy Wayne Clark will also have range time that usually takes an hour in which you and Clark will go out and shoot. During this time some of the things reviewed include stance, proper way to hold your weapon, failure drills and other things to make you more effective.

The cost for the class is $100. As part of the class less than lethal options will be presented. KT offers a full line of self defense items (stun guns, batons, OC spray etc. ) along with many other survival items.

CO State Patrol Youth Academy

By Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol

This month I want to divert a bit from driving tips and discuss a topic very important to troopers.  The mission of a Colorado State Patrol Trooper is not just enforcing the laws on the state’s highways, and interstates.  We are also very involved in educating the public in various areas.

One way we do this is working with Colorado’s youth.  Once a year for one week in June, the Colorado State Patrol allows teens who are at least 16 years old from across the state a chance to see how state troopers are trained at our academy in Golden. 

The goal of the CSP Youth Academy is to assist in the development of future leaders for Colorado. It is a weeklong adventure for the 45 teens that are accepted.  Some of the academy requirements include that they must be a junior or senior for the fall of 2018, write an essay, have two letters of recommendation, and complete an interview with troopers.

While in the youth academy, teens will get to experience a long list of activities.  These include defensive driving on our state patrol track, firearms safety, self-defense tactics, traffic stops, building searches, team building, and ethics in law enforcement, just to name a few.  At the end of the week there is also a special field trip for the participants.  Past years have been visits to the Bronco’s football facilities, and Rockies games.

The academy is not just for teens interested in law enforcement.  The week long class will help them in their future endeavors.  It will also be an experience they will remember the rest of their lives.  If they want to continue with a career as a trooper, well, we won’t complain. 

The academy is free of charge.  It is paid for by private donors.  For more information contact Captain Lawrence Hilton at 303-273-1882, your local Colorado State Patrol Office, or visit our website: LINK.

This year’s youth academy is June 17-23.  Applications are due by March 7, 2018.

Next month we’re talking distracted driving. As always, safe travels!