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Click It Or Ticket Campaign Buckles Down on Nighttime Offenders

July 20, 2015 - Traffic Safety - Today CDOT’s Targeted Campaign in Pueblo Begins.

PUEBLO, COLO. — Tonight, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Click It or Ticket campaign is taking its initiative after hours with a statewide nighttime seat belt crackdown. CDOT is teaming up with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies to cite unbuckled motorists, hoping to raise Colorado’s seat belt use rate and decrease avoidable unbuckled fatalities.

CDOT will be conducting extra awareness efforts in Pueblo, which has a much lower seat belt use rate than the rest of the state. The nighttime enforcement will begin on Monday, July 20 and run through Sunday, July 26.

“Last year, the seat belt use rate in Pueblo was just 63.4 percent, which is considerably lower than the state’s overall seat belt use rate of 82.4 percent,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “By taking a targeted outreach approach, we hope to see Pueblo’s seat belt use increase over the next few years.”

To increase seat belt use and decrease unrestrained occupant fatalities in a region with consistently low seat belt usage, CDOT is bringing its Click It or Ticket campaign to Pueblo. Last year, 63 percent of the 16 passenger vehicle fatalities that occurred in Pueblo weren’t buckled up at the time of the crash. With this in mind, starting Monday, July 20, CDOT is launching seat belt safety messaging on gas pumps, billboards and in radio advertisements throughout Pueblo, leading to eye-catching public exhibits in August.

“Tragic accidents often occur during the nighttime hours, and it is proven that seat belts prevent injury or lessen the severity of injury when crashes occur,” said Troy Davenport, Deputy Chief of the Pueblo Police Department. "Taking into consideration that we often see more impaired drivers, injury and fatal crashes at night, it simply makes sense to take extra care to buckle up at night."

“There has been extensive development in modern safety restraint systems and the seat belt is the best first line defense should someone become involved in a crash,” said Dave Lucero, Bureau Chief of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office. “The simple use of this device can significantly reduce the severity of injuries and survival if a person is involved in a traffic accident. Because no one intentionally plans on becoming involved in a traffic accident, we encourage the use of seat belts as a standard part of operating a motor vehicle."

In 2014, there were a total of 1,495 citations issued during the six-day nighttime enforcement period statewide. 281 officers from 42 agencies participated in the statewide effort. The enforcement period features a statewide radio campaign, reminding motorists to always buckle up at night. 

In 2013, seat belts saved an estimated 12,584 lives nationwide. An additional 2,800 lives could have been saved if all unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants five and older involved in fatal crashes had been properly restrained. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit SeatBeltsColorado.com.

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