Colorado law enforcement cited over 2,000 unbuckled drivers over two weeks

The Colorado Department of Transportation says a total of 2,123 drivers were cited during the largest statewide Click It or Ticket initiative. The period ran from May 24 to June 6 and included 58 drivers who had an improperly restrained child under 15 in their vehicle.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s department issued the most citations with 364, followed by the Colorado Springs Police Department at 285 citations and the Castle Rock Police Department with 190 citations. Colorado State Patrol also cited 289 motorists during the period.

“Buckling up is an easy decision, and it may be one that saves your life,” said Chief Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol, in a news release. “The 2,123 citations issued this enforcement period serve as a reminder to buckle up every ride because your life matters.”

Not buckling up will run you at least $65, and an improperly restrained child can result in a minimum fine of $82 for the driver.

About 203 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in Colorado crashes last year. That accounts for a large portion of the 365 passenger vehicle deaths on Colorado roads in 2020.

“We are expecting increased travel this summer with warmer weather and vaccination rates rising,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT, in a news release. “We hope this recent seat belt enforcement period serves as a reminder to all Coloradoans that buckling up is a matter of life or death on our roadways.”

CDOT reports that the state’s seatbelt use is 86%, which is 4% lower than the national average of 90%. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash by 50%. Unbuckled passengers are at a higher risk of being ejected from a vehicle.

CDOT will run another Click It or Ticket enforcement period between July 31 and August 6. In November 2020’s enforcement period, 1,352 motorists received citations for not buckling up.

About 30 children under age eight were killed in crashes between 2013 and 2017; more than half were in improperly used or installed car seats or none at all.

Colorado’s seatbelt laws

  • Adults — Drivers can be ticketed for violating the seat belt law if they are stopped for another traffic violation. It is a secondary enforcement law.
  • Teens — Drivers under 18 and their passengers must wear seat belts regardless of age. This is 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 means an officer can pull a driver over for an unrestrained or improperly restrained child under age 16 in the vehicle.

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