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Articles from the 'Trooper Tips' series


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  • Trooper Tips: Blinker Etiquette

    Master Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol|Mar 30, 2022

    The blinker is the most misused item in a vehicle. It's a great tool to have when trying to communicate with fellow drivers. What an invention – a system that lets others know what you're thinking and you don't have to utter one word or make any other sound. So why are so many drivers afraid to let others know what they are going to do? I know there aren't that many shy drivers out there because I've seen a lot of them. They use the horn for everything. Tapping it to say hi, letting someone k...

  • Trooper Tips: Buckle up the little ones.

    Master Trooper Gary Cutler|Nov 10, 2021

    I always talk a lot about seatbelts, and how they save lives. Using your seatbelt is quite simple, you grab the strap, pull it over you and click the buckle. It makes sure you survive in a crash. But when it comes to securing your little ones in car seats, they are often installed improperly. It's really no fault of parents that child safety seats are not as secure as they should be. Today's car seats are complicated. That is why there is help out there for any parents, grandparents, or guardian...

  • Trooper Tips: Drive by example

    Master Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol|Jul 28, 2021

    The old proverb simply states, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." It means trying to do what someone else does, or think like someone else thinks is a compliment to that person. Parents, you should feel flattered, because your kids spend a large amount of time watching your actions and then imitating them. People often imitate or follow along with others without thinking about their actions, sometimes when doing unsafe acts. So, when you are in your vehicle with your kids, remember...

  • Trooper Tips: What's around the bend

    Master Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol|Dec 30, 2020

    I hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays this year. It's been a hard and difficult year for a lot of people. With that being said, people don't need anything else sad happening to them. The last thing I want for anyone is to get that knock on the door and being told a loved one has been killed in a crash. So, this time we are going to talk about safety when it comes to curves. We have a lot of them throughout the state so I know everyone has experienced them, but a lot of us are not doing...

  • Trooper Tips: It's winter driving time

    Master Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol|Dec 2, 2020

    We have a couple of snowstorms under our belt already this year, and we have had our standard crashes that come with those storms. Just as you need to get used to your sea legs when sailing, you need to be ready for snow when driving and how your vehicle will respond to different surface textures. So, these are the topics I want to hit on in this article this year: freezing rain, windblown snow, and compacted snow. Freezing rain scares me the most. I've been doing this job for 17 years now, and...

  • The 'Move Over' law just added a little more to it

    Master Trooper Gary Cutler, Special to the Courier|Jul 22, 2020

    On Nov. 26, 2016 my friend Trooper Cody Donahue was killed by a truck that failed to move over while he was investigating a crash. This is a story we hear all too often. Prior to that crash, there was a Move Over law already in effect. So why didn't it work in that situation or countless others? I believe there are several reasons for that. Fully knowing the law is one of them; the other is not paying attention to your surroundings. The Move Over law is set up to assist law enforcement, fire...

  • Living in a New World

    Trooper Gary Cutler|Apr 15, 2020

    As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to hit not only the United States, but the entire world, I know that it is affecting everyone's mental health. It's hard not to focus on anything but what is plaguing us. But there are still things going on that have nothing to do with COVID-19 that we still have to deal with. My articles are about being safe on the roadways, and they still need to be. What we need to remember now during all of this is keeping our minds focused when driving, and b...

  • CSP Youth Academy helps train the next generation of troopers

    Trooper Gary Cutler, Special to the Courier|Mar 4, 2020

    Once again, it's time to look towards the youth of Colorado where we give them an experience of a lifetime. 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 July, 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...

  • Trooper Tips: Older Drivers

    Trooper Gary Cutler|Jan 29, 2020

    Driving is a feeling of freedom you get when you're able to just travel wherever you wish. But, there may come a point in time when either you or someone close to you must make the decision to put the keys away and find another way to commute. Talking to an older person about their driving can be difficult and is often delayed until their driving is to a point of being dangerous. But if delayed too long, it can be a hesitation that can turn fatal. I speak from personal experience when I lost my grandmother in a crash. The signs were there...

  • What to do if you're in a crash

    Trooper Gary Cutler, Special to the Courier|Jan 8, 2020

    At one time or another most of us have found ourselves in a bad situation that we have never experienced before; so what do you do in those situations? Keeping calm and safe is the best advice I have for you. So, if you ever experience a crash, try to keep calm. Check on your passengers to see if they are okay, and then check on the occupants of the other vehicle if there is one involved. A lot of times people feel they need to exit the vehicle immediately. You have just had a very traumatic...

  • Impaired Driving

    Trooper Gary Cutler, Special to the Courier|Jan 1, 2020

    How often do you ask yourself if you are driving impaired? I know you're asking why you would ask yourself that if you are not drinking. But are you actually impaired and don't realize it? Think of it this way, have you ever driven when you were tired or just drove while daydreaming? Let's take a look at this idea. The official definition of Driving While Ability Impaired is driving a motor vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one...

  • Trooper Tips from the Colorado State Patrol

    Special to the Courier|Dec 25, 2019

    One of the things about living in rural parts of Colorado means often having to travel on two lane roads. Where it is sometimes a lot more pleasant than driving on a big highway, it can have its drawbacks. One of those is not having a passing lane you can access the entire time you are traveling that roadway. In Colorado, there are 11 state statutes that talk about the proper way to pass another vehicle. I'm going to hit on a few of them this month. Passing on the left in an unsafe manner. This... Full story