COLORADO SPRINGS — According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), a total of 932 drivers have been cited during the nationwide ‘Click it or Ticket’ seat belt enforcement campaign.

From April 4 to April 20, CDOT, Colorado State Patrol and 60 law enforcement agencies partnered for 2022’s first Click It or Ticket enforcement period. 

“Great drivers wear their seat belts because they are the best defense against impaired, distracted and aggressive drivers,” said Chief Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “Each of the 932 citations issued serves as a reminder — we want you to survive a crash! The choice to buckle up may be the one that saves your life.”

Data released by CDOT show the law enforcement agencies that issued the most citations, which include Castle Rock Police Department (149 citations), the Loveland Police Department (116 citations) and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (105 citations).

The next enforcement period runs over Memorial Day, from May 16 to June 5. A CDOT press release noted that more fatal crashes happen on Colorado roads during the three months between Memorial Day and Labor Day than any other time of year.

CDOT stated that 232 unbuckled vehicle occupants were killed on Colorado roadways in 2021. The state’s seatbelt use is 86%, which is 4% lower than the national average of 90%, according to CDOT.

Since Click It or Ticket was introduced in Colorado in 2002, CDOT says that statewide seat belt use has increased from 72% to 86%.

“Seat belts reduce your risk of injury or death in a crash by 50%,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “Although most people make the right choice to buckle up, far too many don’t and that costs lives.”

Colorado’s seat belt laws are as follows:

  • 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 — All drivers under 18 years old and their passengers, regardless of their age, must 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. 

Included in CDOT’s press release were figures from 2016 to 2020 of 35 children under age 14 killed in passenger vehicle crashes in the state. 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.

For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit SeatBeltsColorado.co.