Traffic Enforcement

The Denver Police Department is responsible for enforcement of Denver's traffic laws. Our operations cover accident investigations, photo radar and photo red light, driver feedback signs (speed trailers), and other traffic-related enforcement activities. Learn more about our divisions below.

Traffic Safety: Know the Rules and Your Rights

If you are stopped by a person driving an unmarked vehicle and are not sure it is a legitimate police officer, please do the following:

    • Turn on your flashers.
    • Slow down and drive to a well populated area.
    • If you have a cell phone, dial 911 and ask the call taker to dispatch a uniformed officer in a marked car.
    • Do not exit your vehicle. Lower your window slightly and ask to see the officer's identification.
    • Request that a uniformed police officer in a marked car arrive before any further action is taken.
    • Once you are satisfied the officer is legitimate, cooperate with his or her instructions.


Denver police officers top motor vehicles for a variety of reasons including:

  • Traffic violation such as speeding, running a red light, expired plates, etc.
  • Occupants suspected of being involved in a crime or witnessing a crime.
  • Vehicle suspected of being used to commit a crime.
  • Vehicular safety such as broken taillight, cracked windshield, etc.



How to respond if you're stopped by an officer


  1. Red and blue lights and/or a siren mean pull over to the right where it is safe and where you will not block traffic.
  2. If it is dark the officer will use a bright spotlight or flashlight to illuminate you and your car.
  3. Upon request drivers are required to provide their license, registration, and proof of insurance.
  4. Depending on the circumstances, officers may request identification from passengers as well.
  5. Remain in your vehicle, keep your hands where the officer can see them and follow his/her instructions.
  6. Avoid sudden movements and do not reach for your license or other items until the officer requests them.
  7. It is reasonable and legal for an officer to require that you and your passengers get out of the vehicle, but do not get out until he or she asks.
  8. Ask any passengers in your car to remain calm and comply with the officer's instructions. 
  9. You may ask questions and provide an explanation of your actions, but arguing with the officer should be avoided.

Speed limits are based on specific engineering concerns, including visibility, road characteristics, and the surrounding environment (business, retail, school zone, industrial, highway, etc.).  Obeying speed limits is an important part of safe driving.

Following too closely is one of the most frequent causes of motor vehicle crashes.  The ability to safely avoid a hazard is sharply reduced when following too closely.  Give yourself more reaction time by increasing the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs continues to be a significant issue across the country.  Have a designated driver and avoid the terrible consequences of DUI. Lives are at stake, including those of you and your family.  Even when injuries are not involved, jail time, fines, loss of driving privileges, attorney fees and insurance costs are considerable.

Pedestrian Safety.  Use crosswalks and obey the signaling cycle. Remember, even with a green walk signal you can still be at risk when crossing a street. Look left, right, and left again for oncoming traffic before stepping off a curb.  Give yourself plenty of time.  Be sure that drivers can see you.  Bright clothing may be helpful, particularly reflective apparel at night. Just as motorists are advised to drive defensively, when you are near vehicle traffic, walk defensively.

Obey red lights and stop signs. Failure to obey traffic control devices is a very real safety hazard. Broadside crashes are extremely dangerous, all too often resulting in serious injury or even death.  Aside from the obvious safety issue, failing to stop inconveniences other motorists who have the lawful right-of-way, increasing their frustration and impatience.

Wear your seatbelt.  Research has repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of wearing seatbelts. Injury severity is significantly reduced and fatalities can be avoided through this simple habit.  Air bags do not take the place of seatbelts, and are actually designed to work in conjunction with them as a means of protecting vehicle occupants.  Seat belts are mandatory for all front seat passengers, and seat belts or child safety seats are mandatory for all children through the age of 16.

Child Safety seats or Booster Seats are mandatory for children up to six years of age. For child safety seat regulations, visit www.carseatscolorado.com.

Crashes involving motorcycles are occurring with greater frequency, many times resulting in serious injuries. Motorcycle riders should always wear a helmet. Head injuries can be reduced significantly by using this vital piece of safety equipment. Always ride defensively and within your ability – If you are not comfortable, you are not riding within your ability! Wear proper clothing – bright and reflective apparel is the best, covering one-half of your body surfaces. Change lane position to increase your visibility and remember S.I.P.E.

  • Scan
  • Identify
  • Decide
  • Execute

Contact Us

Phone: (720) 337-1030
The Traffic Operations Bureau is responsible for on-the-scene investigations of motor vehicle crashes, the safe and efficient movement of vehicle traffic on city streets and highways, and the enforcement of traffic related city ordinances and state statutes. We also oversee the following programs:

Photo Radar Enforcement  (720) 337-1114

Special Events / Street Closure Permit   (720) 337-1066

Phone: (720) 337-1000
Traffic Investigations Bureau is responsible for on-the-scene and follow-up investigation of the following:

  • Fatal accidents or serious bodily injury accidents
  • Hit and run accidents
  • Pursuits and eluding of Denver Police Department officers
  • Habitual traffic Offenders
  • Accidents involving Denver Police Department vehicles
  • Accidents involving Denver Fire Department or Denver Health ambulances when operating with emergency lights and sirens
  • Accidents involving City and County of Denver vehicles when significant property damage, injuries or fatalities are involved
  • Criminal impersonation
  • Hazardous material

Applications for special events such as parades or carnivals should be submitted to Denver's Special Events Permitting office.

For more information:
Visit www.denvergov.org/specialevents
Phone: (720) 865-4311
Email kevin.scott@denvergov.org.

The supervisor of the special events unit may be reached at (720) 337-1066. All requests for permits should first be submitted following the instructions on Denver's Special Events website.

Accidents

For more information on how and when to report an accident, hit-and-run incidents, or to get accident alerts and statistics visit our traffic accidents page at www.denvergov.org/accidents.

Traffic & Parking Tickets

Most tickets are eligible for online payment. Certain exclusions apply. See the links below for more information:
pay online

Speed Enforcement

Citizens can request additional traffic enforcement, speed trailers or the deployment of photo radar vans by contacting the Neighborhood Enforcement Team at (720) 337-1030. Learn more about:
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