May Mobilization Seat Belt Enforcement Cites 5,983 Drivers

June 16, 2016 - Traffic Safety - 295 Citations for Unrestrained Children Under Age 15

STATEWIDE — From May 23 to June 5, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) combined efforts with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law agencies for the May Mobilization Click It or Ticket enforcement period. The campaign resulted in 5,983 seat belt citations, which included 295 citations for unrestrained or improperly restrained children under the age of 15.

“The fact that law enforcement issued seat belt citations to almost 6,000 people is frightening,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “If any of those people had been in a crash before law enforcement reminded them to buckle up, they may not be here today. Seat belts are the best way for drivers and passengers to protect themselves in the event of a crash, and CDOT will continue to push the issue until seat belt use is at 100 percent.”

Eighty-nine agencies participated in the enforcement, with the Colorado State Patrol (1764 citations), Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office (515 citations), Lakewood Police Department (387 citations) and the Aurora Police Department (284 citations) recording the highest citation totals. Unrestrained or improperly restrained children were also reported in high numbers. 57 citations were given for children under the age of 4, 102 citations for children age 4 to 5, and 136 citations for children age 6 to 15.

“We saw a large number of unrestrained children during the enforcement period, and that’s simply unacceptable,” said Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Children rely on adults and caregivers to keep them safe in vehicles. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children. Most of those deaths can be prevented by ensuring that children are properly restrained.”

The next Click It or Ticket enforcement will be focused on rural counties, lasting from July 18 to 24. Colorado’s rural counties have some of the lowest seat belt use rates in the state.

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 — Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) law requires all drivers under 18 and their passengers, no matter what their age, to 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 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.

In 2014, seat belts saved an estimated 12,802 lives nationwide, including 169 in Colorado. An additional 63 lives could have been saved in Colorado 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