CDOT: Colorado teen car deaths down about 40 percent since ’02 |

CDOT: Colorado teen car deaths down about 40 percent since ’02

DENVER ” The deaths of teen drivers and their passengers have dropped by about 40 percent in Colorado over the last four years, according to statistics released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Young drivers have been required to log more time behind the wheel with an adult since July 1999, when the state’s graduated driver’s license law took effect. The law was prompted by the deaths of four teens in a crash in Weld County.

From July 2002 through June 2003, 116 drivers and passengers aged 15 to 20 died in car accidents across the state. From July 2005 through June 2006 ” the last full year on record ” 69 teens died, a 40 percent drop. That was also the first year of laws that limits how many teens that young drivers are allowed to have as passengers and bar the use of cell phones by those with learner’s permits.

Throughout this time, seat belt use among those involved in fatal teen crashes hasn’t changed much, remaining around 65 percent.

So far from June 2006 through Jan. 25, 38 teens have died in crashes.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens nationwide. In Colorado, teens are 6 percent of all drivers but are involved in 11 percent of traffic deaths.

CONIFER ” Denver-area radio host Scott Eller Cortelyou faces a second charge of internet sexual exploitation of a child, prosecutors said.

Cortelyou was arrested Wednesday in his Conifer home and booked into the Jefferson County jail. Last week, he was arrested on a separate count of the same charge plus a charge of internet luring of a child and booked into the Larimer County jail.

Cortelyou, 53, has been a co-host of “Business for Breakfast” on Longmont-based KRCN-AM. He was still listed on the station’s website on Thursday but station executives did not immediately return a call.

DENVER ” State welfare rolls fell by nearly 23 percent last year, indicating the economy is improving enough to provide more jobs, officials said.

Month-to-month fluctuations in welfare numbers are common, but this was the first yearlong drop since 2002, The Denver Post reported in its Thursday editions.

The state ended 2006 with 11,368 cases on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF, a decline of 3,354.

PUEBLO ” The Marianist religious order said it will look into how a former brother accused in more than 20 lawsuits of subduing former students with ether before sexually abusing them was transferred to Colorado from Missouri in the 1960s.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported in Thursday editions that a 56-year-old St. Louis man filed a police report in Kirkwood, Mo., in 2005, alleging that William Mueller sexually assaulted him while he attended Vianney High School from 1965 to 1969.

According to the report, which was obtained by the newspaper, the man told a school administrator about Mueller’s activities in late 1965 and early 1966. The man told police that he was gassed by Mueller on three occasions. The former student said he did not suspect sexual assault until the third incident.

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