CDOT and Safe Kids Colorado urging those ‘on the fence’ to buckle up

News Release

July 21, 2023 - Statewide Safety News - Mid-summer seat belt enforcement period begins Monday

Haga clic aquí para ver este comunicado de prensa El Departamento de Transporte de Colorado y Safe Kids Colorado alientan a los “indecisos” a abrocharse el cinturón de seguridad en español.

El Paso County — An important reminder for El Paso County residents: Stay buckled up while summer marches on (and beyond). In tandem with the July seat belt enforcement period launching Monday, July 24, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Safe Kids Colorado are partnering to share an important message. A fence at Webster Elementary School in Colorado Springs now serves as a reminder to community members — “Buckle Up, El Paso County.”

Starting Monday, July 24, CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and 39 participating law enforcement agencies will come together to launch the July seat belt enforcement period. The Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and Palmer Lake Police Departments, along with local CSP troops, will be involved in El Paso County enforcement efforts. During last year’s July enforcement period, 788 citations were issued to drivers statewide for not wearing a seat belt or having unbuckled passengers in their vehicle.

“Unfortunately, unbuckled fatalities in Colorado are a tragic and far too common occurrence,” said Chief Matthew C. Packard of the CSP. “As we head into the last Click It or Ticket enforcement period of the summer, it is crucial to remember that there can be consequences much worse than a citation.”

"Buckle up El Paso County" displayed on chain-link fence

In 2022, 348 El Paso County drivers received citations during the April and May Click It or Ticket enforcement periods. In 2023, 410 drivers in El Paso County were cited during the same two enforcement periods. This is a nearly 18% increase from last year. Additionally, El Paso County had the most fatal crashes in the state in 2022 (79). With 40 roadway fatalities already this year, the need for additional seat belt enforcement is clear. CDOT and Safe Kids hope the display serves as a reminder that the best precaution you can take behind the wheel is wearing your seat belt.

“Our goal is to help prevent child injury, and encouraging parents and their children to buckle up every time is the best way to do that,” said Amanda Abramczyk-Thill, Safe Kids Colorado coordinator and injury prevention and outreach specialist for Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Wearing a seat belt is an easy habit to form to protect yourself, your family, and teach children responsible habits.”

Properly wearing a seat belt is crucial — no matter if you’re the driver, a passenger or sitting in the second or third row of a vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seat belt in the front seat of a vehicle reduces the risk of moderate injury by 50% and fatal injury by 45%. Additionally, nearly 60% of backseat passengers who were killed in a crash in 2021 nationwide were unbuckled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wearing a seat belt will always be the first choice a driver or passenger can make to prioritize safety while on the road.

The Click It or Ticket campaign urges Coloradans and visitors to fasten their seat belts, every ride, every time. Proper seat belt usage is the No. 1 way to protect yourself in the event of a vehicle crash and minimize the risk of injury or death. Fines for not buckling up begin at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.

Safe Kids Colorado

Safe Kids Colorado Springs is a coalition of community partners including first responders, social services, volunteers, and other community members who aim to help prevent child injury, the leading cause of death and disability for kids. The program works to educate children, families, and the community on safety by providing car seat checks, helmet education, home and fire safety awareness and pedestrian safety. Safe Kids Colorado Springs participates in community events, brings education to organizations, and offers resources to connect with their community and share evidence-based safety information so kids can stay safe while enjoying their childhood.

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, 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 under age 16 in the vehicle

About Click It or Ticket

Click It or Ticket is a nationwide campaign from NHTSA. Since Click It or Ticket was introduced in Colorado in 2002, statewide seat belt use has increased from 72% to 87%. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit