1,279 Rural Drivers Cited for Seat Belt Violations

April 12, 2018 - 62 Ticketed for Unbuckled Children During "Click It or Ticket" Enforcement

Data shows that 16 percent of Coloradans do not wear seat belts. To encourage seat belt use in rural counties—which historically have low seat belt use rates—CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies recently conducted a Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement in rural counties.

Law enforcement agencies cited 1,279 drivers between March 26 and April 1, a slight decrease from the 1,341 citations issued during last year's spring rural-enforcement period. Of the citations issued, 62 were for improperly restrained children.

"Seat belt use is the law in Colorado—and for a very good reason since it can save your life," said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT's Office of Transportation Safety. "Buckling your seat belt is quick and easy. CDOT hopes that those who were cited remember to buckle up every time they enter a vehicle. You never know when you'll be involved in a crash."

Forty seven agencies participated in the heightened enforcement, with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office (82 citations), the Rifle Police Department (73 citations) and the Fort Lupton Police Department (61 citations) recording the highest number of tickets. CSP cited 680 drivers of the 1,279 total citations. A full list of the citations issued is available at SeatBeltsColorado.com.

Fines for not buckling up start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.

"Cars have evolved in countless ways over the past 50 years, but the one feature that hasn't changed much is seat belts. There is a reason for that," said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the CSP. "Seat belts save lives. Remember to buckle up every trip regardless of the distance or speed you are traveling."

The Click It or Ticket campaign will return for the May Mobilization enforcement beginning May 21 and running through June 3. Last year, nearly 6,000 unrestrained drivers were cited during the May Mobilization enforcement.

Colorado's Seat Belt Laws

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 younger than 18 and their passengers, regardless of 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 a primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child younger than 16 in the vehicle.

In 2016, 182 people who weren't buckled up lost their lives in traffic crashes on Colorado roadways. If everyone had buckled up, nearly half of the victims would have lived.

Last year, 211 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in Colorado, accounting for nearly half of the 399 passenger vehicle traffic crashes.