There is a new Colorado safety campaign called “Beware of the Beltless”. The issue is one our Southern Ute Police officers see too often – the driver is smart enough to buckle up but the passenger doesn’t buckle their safety belt.
An unbuckled passenger bounces around inside a vehicle during a crash. Slamming around violently, the unbuckled passenger can impact you and others with extreme force. The damage can be severe with someone getting injured or killed. Statistics show that a driver is 40 percent more likely to be killed or injured in a crash by an unbuckled passenger.
Officers are trained to have all heavy objects secured in the back of the patrol vehicle behind the cage. All rifles and shotguns are locked into racks. All occupants (including the ones transported in the back seat) are safely buckled. This protects the officers in the event of a crash. More officers die in vehicle crashes each year than any other means (even in a year as tragic as this one). An officer never wants to have a piece of loose equipment or an unfastened passenger be the cause of injury in a crash. A driver is 137 percent more likely to be injured or killed by an unbelted rear-seat passenger when compared to a belted rear-seat passenger.
Being unbuckled also makes you 30 times more likely to be ejected – one of the most lethal outcomes of crashes.
The Southern Ute Police Department wishes you to have safe travels on your road ahead. Buckle up every time and remind your passengers to buckle up.