943 drivers cited during first Click It or Ticket enforcement of the year

News Release

May 7, 2024 - Colorado - Seat belt use is increasing despite tickets

943 conductores multados durante la primera campaña de Abrochado o Multado del año en español

Statewide — From April 1 to 14, the Colorado Department of Transportation supported the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and 56 participating law enforcement agencies in a Click It or Ticket enforcement period. While seat belt use is on the rise statewide, a total of 943 drivers were cited during the enforcement period. This included 26 drivers who had improperly restrained children in their vehicle. This was the first seat belt enforcement period of 2024. The next campaign begins May 13.

The law enforcement agencies that issued the most citations were Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (149), Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (77), and Loveland Police Department (71).

Overall, Colorado’s seat belt use rate has improved in the last few years — up nearly 2% from 2022. According to the 2023 Colorado Statewide Seat Belt Survey, 88.6% of Coloradans buckle up — the highest use rate ever observed in the state. The national average seat belt use rate is 92%.

"Even a small change in behavior can create a significant impact. Imagine choosing to buckle up every single drive, especially if you don't always wear a seat belt,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “While a 2% improvement in Colorado's seat belt use rate may seem relatively minor, it shows significant progress toward safer roadways. We can keep increasing that number, by building new habits that save lives.”

Enforcement continues to be one of the most effective countermeasures to effectively convince drivers to buckle up. With this in mind, CDOT supports Click It or Ticket — a national, high-visibility enforcement campaign centered on the consequences of not wearing a seat belt. During enforcement periods, law enforcement increases patrols and focuses on issuing citations to drivers not wearing a seat belt.

“Despite the positive trends in seat belt use in Colorado, we can’t stop addressing the 12% of people who still do not buckle up,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “If this includes you or someone you know, we invite you to consider the facts. Studies show that wearing a seat belt reduces your risk of death or serious injury in a crash by up to 65%. Buckling up is a simple yet life-saving choice.”

Fines for not using your seat belt in Colorado start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.

Proper car seat use is another area in which Coloradans have room for improvement. In 2023, out of nearly 2,500 car seat checks performed in Colorado, there was a 73% misuse rate. Parents and caregivers can learn more about Colorado child passenger safety laws, recommendations and recalls at CarSeatsColorado.com.

The next Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period begins May 13 and will run through June 2.

Colorado’s seat belt laws

Colorado law requires the driver and every front seat passenger of a motor vehicle and the driver and every passenger in an autocycle equipped with a safety belt system to wear a seat belt whenever the vehicle is in operation on a street or highway.

  • 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.

Learn more about Click It or Ticket enforcement and Colorado’s seat belt laws at codot.gov/safety/seat belts.