STATEWIDE — The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and 59 law enforcement agencies recently conducted the second statewide Click It or Ticket enforcement event of 2021 from July 13 until Aug. 6, resulting in 871 seat belt citations. Twenty-four of those were for improperly buckled or unrestrained children.
Agencies that issued the most citations were: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office with 167 citations, the Greeley Police Department with 101 citations, and the Colorado Springs Police Department with 83 citations.
“We can confidently say that seat belts are your best defense against aggressive, impaired, and distracted drivers. Seat belts keep you inside your vehicle and increase your odds of surviving a crash,” said Chief Matthew C. Packard, CSP. “Being ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly, but there are thousands of drivers and passengers who choose not to buckle up each day.”
Colorado’s seat belt use rate has increased by 7% within the last eight years. However, in 2020, 203 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in crashes in the state, totaling over half of Colorado’s 365 total passenger vehicle deaths.
“We partner with local law enforcement and Colorado State Patrol on Click It or Ticket enforcement for one clear purpose — to save lives,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “Seat belts are the best defense against impaired and distracted drivers and unexpected road hazards.”
CDOT recently released a new video series featuring interviews with victims and family members sharing stories of life-changing traffic crashes in Colorado.
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 — 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.
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.
Learn more about Colorado’s seat belt laws here.