The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol and law enforcement agencies in 12 counties in Colorado issued 2,356 seat belt citations to drivers during the Click It or Ticket nighttime campaign which ran July 22-28. Efforts were ramped up to enforce seat belt use at night because nighttime passenger vehicle occupants are mostly likely to be unrestrained and killed in crashes. During the week-long enforcement period, 7 drivers and passengers died in crashes in the state, and over half (4) of them were not wearing seat belts.
“We know firsthand when covering crashes that seat belts do save lives,” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Unfortunately, there are still motorists and passengers that are less likely to wear seat belts: people driving at night, males in rural areas, pick-up truck drivers, teens and people that have been drinking. Please take two seconds to always buckle up yourself and your passengers.”
“Click It or Ticket started in 2002, and since then seat belt use in Colorado has increased from 72% to 82%,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “Through the campaign, we strive to make seat belt use an everyday habit for Coloradans. It’s truly their best protection against serious injuries and death in motor vehicle crashes.”
Of the 2,356 citations given, 1,718 were for unrestrained drivers and passengers ages 16 and up. The other 638 were for unrestrained children. The minimum fine for not wearing a seat belt in Colorado is $65 for adults and $82 for unrestrained children.
Increased enforcement took place in the following counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Pueblo and Weld. The agencies reporting the highest number of seat belt citations were:
- Colorado State Patrol Troop 1-C in Castle Rock (167 citations)
- Aurora Police Department (132 citations)
- Englewood Police Department ( 101 citations)
- Lakewood Police Department (98 citations)
Last year during the nighttime Click It or Ticket enforcement period, 1,858 seat belt violations were issued, representing 20% less than in 2013. For more information on seat belt citation data online, visit www.SeatBeltsColorado.com and click on Seat Belt Enforcement Reporting in Quick Links.