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Seat belt Enforcement Nabs 1299 Drivers - 61 Drivers Cited for Not Having Children Buckled

July 31, 2015 - STATEWIDE/CDOT - According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the risk of being involved in a serious crash is greater at night than it is during the day

With this in mind, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) partnered with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies to successfully complete statewide Click It or Ticket heightened seatbelt patrols. The enforcement period, which ran from Monday, July 20 until Sunday, July 26, focused on nighttime hours, a time when there is reduced visibility and often times more impaired drivers on the roadways.

 

Of the 1299 drivers who received seat belt citations, 61 were cited for not having children in the car buckled up in car seats, booster seats or seat belts. “Children rely on adults to ensure they are buckled up every trip every time,” said CDOT spokesperson Sam Cole. “Not buckling children into a restraint can have tragic consequences, even for the best of drivers.” 

 

“Wearing your seat belts is important at all times of the day, but especially at night,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “In 2013, 59 percent of the nationwide passenger vehicle fatalities that occurred at night weren’t wearing their seat belts.”

 

The minimum citation amount for a seat belt violation is $65, in addition to any other fines for other driving violations. The minimum fine for having an unrestrained child is $82.

 

“Law enforcement officials see the aftermath of crashes and know firsthand that seat belts do save lives, " said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Beneficial seat belt habits start at an early age, so it’s important that parents set good examples and always wear their seat belts, no matter what time of day or how long the drive.”

 

Of the 54 law enforcement agencies that participated in the crack-down, agencies with the most citations issued were: Colorado State Patrol (246), Lakewood Police Department (110), Colorado Springs Police Department (100), Boulder Police (97) and Loveland Police (97).  In 2014 there were a total of 1,495 citations issued during the same six-day nighttime enforcement period.

 

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.  Colorado has a secondary seat belt law for adult drivers, meaning that while you cannot be stopped for not wearing your seat belt, if you are pulled over for any other driving violation (such as speeding or running a stoplight), you can be cited for not wearing your seatbelt.

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal