Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement cites 1,336 drivers

Colo. Dept. of Transportation

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and 61 law enforcement agencies across Colorado recently teamed up for a statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period. A total of 1,336 drivers were cited from Nov. 16 to Nov. 29 for unrestrained vehicle occupants. This includes 98 drivers who had improperly restrained children under the age of 15 in their vehicle. 

Among the agencies that issued the highest number of citations were the Loveland Police Department with 197 citations, Greeley Police Department with 178 citations, and Denver Police Department with 132 citations. In addition, Colorado State Patrol cited 214 drivers. 

Fines for not buckling up start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82. 

“Nearly 300 Coloradans have been killed in passenger vehicle crashes this year,” said Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “Although hard to believe this is occurring in 2020, over half of those involved unbuckled drivers or passengers. Buckling up would have helped them survive.” 

In 2019, 196 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in crashes in the state, accounting for more than half of Colorado’s 377 total passenger vehicle deaths. Unbuckled drivers and passengers represent 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%.

From 2015-2019, Denver County had 60 unbuckled vehicle fatalities, accounting for over half of the 108 total passenger vehicle deaths.  Denver County’s seat belt use rate has improved to is 93%, one of the highest in the state.

From 2013 to 2017, 30 children under 8 years old 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.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to grow dramatically, CDOT is also urging people to cancel gatherings with people who don’t live together. People are also reminded to always wear a mask if they must go out in public and stay six feet apart from others.

The last statewide Click It or Ticket enforcement period was in July 2020. 60 participating law enforcement agencies cited 2,504 drivers for not buckling up.

For the November enforcement period, CDOT partnered with Colorado State Patrol troopers and law enforcement agencies across Colorado to record messages on why buckling up is so important. To view these videos, visit: www.dropbox.com/sh/ceqyux447h33z93/AAAi8vTmnKu3NXzzdvt1pE9Pa?dl=0

CDOT’s new seat belt campaign, Common Bond, launched in July 2020. It highlights that while Coloradans hold passionate opinions and may not agree on everything, we can all get behind seat belts and the importance of buckling up. The campaign was featured on billboards, posters, bus tails, social media, and radio PSAs. The Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement is a critical component of CDOT’s Whole System — Whole Safety initiative and the agency’s vision to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Colorado roadways.

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 — Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) law requires all drivers under 18 and their passengers, regardless of their age, to 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. 

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, visit SeatBeltsColorado.com.

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