CDOT to Reveal Giant Grenade to Promote Seat Belt Use Tomorrow

DENVER—At 10 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, March 15 on the Auraria Campus, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will reveal an unconventional tactic to encourage seat belt use: a 9-foot-tall grenade.

The grenade, which is fabricated to resemble an unbuckled seat belt, isn't the traditional "buckle up" message. It is likely to turn heads and spark conversation from every angle. The goal is to encourage people to stop seeing an unbuckled person as a friend or family member but instead as a dangerous object capable of serious harm to others during a crash.

The grenade reveal—to be held at the southwest corner of the Tivoli Student Union at 9th Street and Larimer Plaza—launches CDOT's 2017 Beware of the Beltless seat belt safety campaign and will be displayed in public spaces around the Denver Metro area in the coming months. A CDOT representative and car crash victim who was seriously injured by an unbuckled friend will give brief statements, and be available for interviews after.

Data shows passenger vehicle fatalities rose in 2016, and while Colorado deaths are increasing, seat belt use is falling. Additionally, a CDOT survey of Coloradans showed that one of the primary reasons people don't buckle up is because they think it should be their choice. But making a choice not to buckle up affects not just one person, especially when that unbuckled person is in the car with others.

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Interview Opportunities:

  • CDOT Safety Communications Manager Sam Cole
  • Car crash survivor Christie Haskell was riding in the back seat with a friend who wasn't buckled up. Haskell's friend flew into her, breaking her collarbone and causing permanent hip, spine and neck damage.