Law Enforcement in 25 rural counties to conduct Click It or Ticket enforcement April 1-7
In an effort to increase seat belt use and save lives on rural Colorado roadways, the Colorado State Patrol and 18 rural law enforcement agencies in 25 counties are mobilizing for a Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period, starting today until Sunday, April 7. The enforcement is combined with a seat belt education campaign targeting male pickup truck drivers, as they have the lowest seat belt use in the state.
In 2012, 60% of unbuckled deaths in Colorado were men between the ages of 18-34 while 39% of unrestrained fatalities in Colorado occurred in pickup trucks. Drivers of pickup trucks have the lowest overall seat belt use at just 71%, compared to 81% of seat belt use amongst car drivers.
“Pickup trucks are twice as likely to roll over in a crash, despite the belief that they are safer vehicles,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at the Colorado Department of Transportation. “Due to their lower than average seat belt use, we singled out pickup drivers in this year’s seat belt education campaign, but we hope that all motorists take away our message: seat belts can save your life.”
The seat belt education campaign includes print and radio public service announcements to increase awareness around the importance of seat belt use, especially in rural Colorado, amongst drivers who don’t buckle up regardless of where they are going or how long they are on the road. “Many drivers say that they simply forget to buckle up because they never developed the habit, so it is our hope that our stepped up enforcement and education will encourage more drivers to practice buckling up,” says Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Other drivers say they simply forget to buckle up because they never developed the habit. The Colorado State Patrol and all law enforcement in Colorado would rather write a citation than see one more preventable injury or fatality. Always buckle up, as it’s your best defense when on a back road or highway,”
The increased seat belt enforcement will take place in the following counties:
El Paso (rural)
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. Click It or Ticket enforcement focuses on speeding and aggressive drivers, however drivers who are stopped for a traffic violation and are not using a seat belt will be ticketed. Seat belt fines are $65 per violation. During last year’s seven-day rural Click It or Ticket enforcement period, 2,131 seat belt citations were written.
Colorado’s child-passenger safety law and its teen driver seat belt law are primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child in the vehicle, or if a teen driver and his or her passengers are not buckled up. The public can find more information about the law at www.seatbeltscolorado.com and www.carseatscolorado.com.