8,777 Colorado Drivers Get Life-Saving Reminder to Buckle Up

June 12, 2012 - Traffic Safety - DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation announced today that the Colorado State Patrol and law enforcement agencies across the state issued 8,777 seat belt citations to drivers during the Click It or Ticket campaign, which lasted from May 21 to June 3.

The effort was part of the national mobilization aimed at saving lives by convincing more people to buckle up.  During the two-week enforcement period, 10 drivers and passengers died in crashes in the state, and 8 of them were not wearing seat belts, according to preliminary information from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“Seat belts are the single most effective thing you can do to prevent serious injury or death from a crash,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “It takes just two seconds to protect yourself and your loved ones by requiring that everyone in your vehicle buckle up. Most importantly, be responsible and make sure all children are properly restrained in the appropriate child safety seat.”

Out of the 8,777 citations, 583 were for unrestrained children, 452 for teens and 7,742 for unbuckled adults. The minimum fine for not wearing a seat belt in Colorado is $65.  A citation for unrestrained children is $82 per violation.

The agencies and troops that issued the highest number of seat belt citations included:

Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office (798)
Aurora Police Department (723)
Lakewood Police Department (527)
CSP Troop 4A Fruita (507)
CSP Troop 4C Glenwood Springs (500)
CSP Troop 2B Colorado Springs (357)
CSP Troop 1D Adams County (303)
Longmont Police Department (256)
Fort Collins Police Department (232)

Seat belt tickets were not the only result of the Click It or Ticket enforcement. Agencies also report 59 fugitive arrests, 70 drug arrests and 148 DUI arrests, as well as citations for 656 drivers with a suspended license or no driver’s license.

Despite a continuous decline in the number of people killed in traffic crashes in Colorado over the past decade, the number of people who died without seat belts increased for the first time since 2002.  Last year, 187 drivers and passengers died unrestrained, up from 164 in 2010.  This is the highest level since 2007 when 193 people died in crashes that were not buckled up.

Colorado’s seat belt use rate has also stalled over the past five years.  In 2011, 82% of observed drivers and passengers were wearing seat belts, compared to 81% in 2007.

For information about seat belt laws and the number of seat belt citations per agency, visit www.seatbeltscolorado.com.