As summer ramps up, CDOT reminds drivers to buckle up behind the wheel
With summer officially in full swing, the Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to buckle up. The May Click It or Ticket enforcement period cited 907 drivers, which resulted in costly fines – but more importantly a reminder to always use seat belts.
From May 16 to June 5, CDOT, Colorado State Patrol, and 64 law enforcement agencies partnered for the year’s largest Click It or Ticket enforcement period. A total of 907 drivers were cited during the statewide enforcement, including 24 drivers who had an improperly restrained child under the age of 15 in their vehicle.
The law enforcement agencies that issued the most citations were the Colorado Springs Police Department (141), Thornton Police Department (95), Broomfield Police Department (77), and Castle Rock Police Department (76).
A new study by the National Highway traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms that high visibility enforcement (HVE) of traffic laws positively impacts roadway safety by reducing dangerous driving behaviors. Study data shows that seat belt use rates increase an average of 3.5 percentage points when an HVE campaign is utilized.
“We step up seat belt enforcement as an important deterrent for unbuckled drivers,” said Chief Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “The same people who make a choice to gamble with their lives in the event of a crash, offer up all sorts of excuses as a law enforcement officer writes up their citations. Our hope is that it serves as a reminder to wear a seat belt every time.”
Currently, only 86% of Coloradans choose to buckle up behind the wheel, making the state fall short of the average seat belt use rate across the country — 90%.
“There are 120,000 crashes in Colorado each year. Having your seat belt fastened can significantly increase your odds of survival,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “Although most Coloradans use their seat belts, we need to do more to get all people to buckle up. This will dramatically reduce fatal crashes in the state and spare families the grief of losing a loved one.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing seat belts and properly buckling children into age-and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats can reduce the risk for serious injury and death in a crash by at least half. Ensuring that both the driver and passengers in a vehicle are buckled is vital to staying alive in an unprecedented crash.
Learn more about Click It or Ticket enforcement and Colorado’s seat belt laws at codot.gov/safety/seatbelts. For Spanish campaign information, visit codot.gov/safety/seatbelts/cinturones-de-seguridad/
COLORADO’S SEAT BELT LAWS
- Adults — Colorado has a secondary enforcement law for adult drivers and front-seat passengers. Drivers can be ticketed for violating the seat belt law if they are stopped for another traffic violation.
- Teens — All drivers under 18 years old and their passengers, regardless of their age, must wear seat belts. This is a primary enforcement, meaning teens can be pulled over simply for not wearing a seat belt or having passengers without seat belts.
- Children — Colorado’s Child Passenger Safety law is a primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child under age 16 in the vehicle.
From 2016 to 2020, 35 children under the age of 14 were killed in passenger vehicle crashes in Colorado. Among these, more than half were in an improperly used or installed car seat — or no car seat at all. Parents and caregivers can learn more about Colorado child passenger safety laws, recommendations, and recalls at CarSeatsColorado.com.
Click It or Ticket is a nationwide campaign by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Since Click It or Ticket was introduced in Colorado in 2002, statewide seat belt use has increased from 72% to 86%. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit SeatBeltsColorado.com.
The Colorado Department of Transportation’s mission is to provide the best multi-modal transportation system that most effectively and safely moves people, goods, and information. CDOT maintains more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,400 bridges, and 35 mountain passes. Our team of employees works tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. CDOT leverages partnerships with a range of private and public organizations and operates Bustang, an interregional express bus service. Find more details at codot.gov.