Fri Nov 20th, 2020
Colo. Dept. of Transportation
Tags: CarSeatsColorado.com, CDOT Whole System, Chief Matthew Packard, Click It or Ticket, Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period, Colo. Dept. of Transportation, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado roads, Colorado State Patrol (CSP), Common Bond campaign, law enforcement agencies, Vehicle fatalities
Vehicle fatalities involved unbuckled occupants
Starting Monday, Nov. 16, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and 29 local law enforcement agencies throughout the state will begin a two-week Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period. The heightened seat belt enforcement campaign will run through Sunday, Nov. 29.
So far in 2020, 299 occupants in passenger vehicles have been killed in crashes on Colorado roads. Of those, 160 fatalities (54%) involved unbuckled drivers or passengers even though they represent just 14% of vehicle occupants, according to a recent CDOT survey on seat belt usage. Colorado’s seat belt use rate is 86%, below the national average of 90%.
In 2019, 196 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in crashes in the state, accounting for more than half of the 377 total passenger vehicle deaths.
“The Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement serves as a reminder to always buckle up,” said Chief Matthew Packard, of the Colorado State Patrol. “Your State Troopers want every driver and passenger to reduce the risk of serious injury, vehicle ejection, or death in the event of a collision on our Colorado roadways. Every citation issued could be a life saved.”
From 2015-2019, Denver County had 60 unbuckled fatalities, accounting for over half of the 108 total passenger vehicle deaths. Fortunately, Denver County’s seat belt use rate has improved to is 93%, one of the highest in the state.
An average of an additional 70 lives could be saved each year if Colorado achieved a 100% seat belt use rate, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Seat belt enforcement effort support CDOT’s Whole System – Whole Safety initiative and the agency’s vision to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roadways.
“With the holiday travel season approaching, one of the safest choices is to stay home to help limit the spread of COVID-19,” said CDOT Director Shoshana Lew. “If you are traveling by car, whether you’re a driver or passenger, making the quick decision to buckle up is a lifesaving decision.”
The four counties with the lowest in seat belt use rates are all highly rural: Chaffee, Weld, Pueblo and Cheyenne. All four also recorded lower rates in 2020 than in 2019.
Earlier this year, CDOT launched the Common Bond campaign focused on the one thing that unites just about all Coloradoans – seat belt usage.
CDOT partnered with Colorado State Patrol troopers to record messages on why buckling up is so important. The videos serve as reminders that seat belt usage is at the heart of every Click It or Ticket enforcement period.
This enforcement effort marks CDOT’s first Click It or Ticket enforcement period to take place in November. During the most recent Click It or Ticket enforcement period in July 2020, 1,839 unrestrained drivers and passengers were issued citations across Colorado.
COLORADO’S SEAT BELT LAWS
Fines for not buckling up in Colorado start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.
From 2013 to 2017, 30 children from infants to age eight 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.
ABOUT CLICK IT OR TICKET
Click It or Ticket is a nationwide campaign from 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.