2,116 Rural Colorado Drivers Get a Costly Reminder to Buckle Up

April 20, 2012 - Traffic Safety - DENVER – Colorado’s rural Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign resulted in 2,116 seat belt citations, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

The increased seat belt enforcement took place April 1-8th in 49 counties and involved 29 law enforcement agencies and the Colorado State Patrol.  CDOT provided federal grants to agencies to participate in the campaign.

The 2,116 citations also included 98 violations for drivers with unrestrained children under age 16.  The special Click It or Ticket enforcement also resulted in the additional benefit of 33 drug arrests, 18 DUIs, 19 fugitive arrests, 165 suspended licenses, and the recovery of one stolen vehicle.

Based on observational surveys conducted by law enforcement agencies before and after the rural Click It or Ticket enforcement period, seat belt use rose from 75% to 81%.

“Getting everyone to buckle up is what this campaign is all about. Our goal is saving lives, not writing tickets,” said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “In 2011, 187 people were killed in crashes on rural roadways, representing 60% of the state’s total fatalities.  And more than half (58%) of those killed in rural areas were not wearing a seat belt, compared to 34% in urban areas.

“Sometimes there’s a false sense of security for people when driving in less congested, rural areas of our state,” Colonel Wolfinbarger pointed out.  “However crashes can occur anywhere, anytime -- it’s important to make smart choices by developing the habit of  buckling up every time no matter where you are or how far you’re driving.   And, make sure all of your passengers are wearing seat belts and all children are buckled up in the appropriate child safety seat.”

The cost of a seat belt ticket is a minimum of $65 per violation and $85 for violations involving unrestrained children.  The public can find information about the law and enforcement at www.seatbeltscolorado.com. Child passenger safety information is available at www.carseatscolorado.com.

The following lists the number of seat belt violations issued by agency or CSP troop:

Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office          36

Avon Police Department                    110

Breckenridge Police Department        6

Cortez Police Department                  5

Craig Police Department                    28

CSP Troop 1A Limon                          67

CSP Troop 2A Canon City                    67

CSP Troop 2C Lamar                           190

CSP Troop 2D Pueblo                          28

CSP Troop 3A Greeley                         73

CSP Troop 3B Sterling                         104

CSP Troop 3C Fort Collins                    82

CSP Troop 4B Craig                             54

CSP Troop 4C Glenwood Springs           368

CSP Troop 5A Durango                        33

CSP Troop 5B Alamosa                         104

CSP Troop 5C Montrose                       177

CSP Troop 6B Frisco                             26

CSP Troop 6D Gaming                           18

Dillon Police Department                      20

Durango Police Department                  51

Fort Morgan Police Department            25

Fraser/Winter Park Police Dept.            2

Fremont County Sheriff’s Office            50

Frisco Police Department                     32

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office             22

Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office                9

Glenwood Springs Police Dept.              26

Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office           15

Lamar Police Department                      5

Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office          22

Logan County Sheriff’s Office                18

Manzanola Police Department                7

Monte Vista Police Department              113

Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office         6

Silverthorne Police Department              7

Steamboat Springs Police Dept.              17

Sterling Police Department                    38

Walsenburg Police Department               11

Washington County Sheriff’s Office         15

Woodland Park Police Department          29