GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KFQX) While snow continues to fall, accidents continue to pile up.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is hard at work clearing roads with not enough drivers to run the plows. While Colorado State Patrol officers are risking their lives to help others. “The most likely scenario of an officer being killed is outside of their vehicle, which is what we do every single day,” Josh Lewis, Colorado State Patrol said

In the last three days alone six drivers collided into CSP troopers on I-70. All returned home to their families with minor injuries, but that’s not always the case. “This is why we are trying to continue to educate people about move over, about traction laws,” Lewis says.

To avoid accidents or deaths stopped emergency or stranded vehicles may cause —the slow down and move over law requires you to either move over a minimum of one lane, or slow down, and if its snowing. “We always encourage people to ride out these storms at a location other than behind the wheel,” Lewis says.

CSP generally monitors accidents, while CDOT tracks road conditions.

The two agencies work hand in hand, but this Winter season, Colorado is down two hundred plow drivers. “We’ve planned and scheduled this, we knew our vacancy rate going into the season so we’ve come up with volunteer lists, people that want to go up country and help out and you know right now, winter is just starting,” Fred Cummings, Deputy Maintenance Superintendent says.

It isn’t unusual, to redirect staff to where they’re needed most, but with more snow and accidents this season, it’s more noticeable.

With a snow plow driver shortage, don’t be so quick to pass a plow truck. “We always say the road is a lot better behind the snow plow than it is in-front of the snow plow, maintain distance behind that plow; you’re a lot better off than trying to get in-front of it,” Cummings said.

CSP is also asking drivers to slow down. “We need to have folks under stand who we are, that we are actual human beings with families that we want to go home to and please help protect us by moving over and being aware of what’s going on at these different scenes,” Lewis said.