News

Statewide Seat Belt Enforcement Cites 5051 Drivers

June 19, 2019 - Statewide Traffic Safety - 234 tickets issued for unrestrained children 

STATEWIDE  To help keep drivers and passengers safe on Colorado roads this summer, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and 80 local law enforcement agencies teamed up for a statewide Click It or Ticket high-visibility seat belt enforcement from May 20 to June 2. A total of 5051 drivers were cited for seat belt violations, including 244 drivers who had improperly restrained children under 15 in their vehicle. Last year, 5,678 tickets were issued during the same enforcement period, of which including 234 involved unrestrained children.

The Click It Or Ticket seat belt enforcement program is a critical part of CDOT's Whole System Whole Safety initiative and the agency’s vision to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Colorado roadways.

The Loveland Police Department (490 citations), the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (399 citations), and the Greeley Police Department (250 citations) recorded the highest number of citations statewide. Fines for not buckling up start at $65, and drivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.

“Using a seat belt is your best defense in a crash. You never know when a crash can happen, so it’s best to buckle up every time you get in a car no matter how short the trip,” said CDOT Director Shoshana Lew. “In 2017, an estimated 70 lives could have been saved in Colorado if everyone buckled up.”

In 2018, 220 passenger vehicle deaths in Colorado involved unbuckled drivers and passengers. Nationally Colorado ranks in the bottom third of states in seat belt use. Colorado’s seat belt use rate is 86 percent, which is well below the national average of 90 percent.

“It only takes a second to buckle a seat belt, but the impact is major. Seat belts save lives,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the CSP. “This summer and beyond, we hope Coloradans think about the effects of seat belts. Traveling in a car without a seat belt puts you at risk of never seeing your family again, ending your career and many other unfortunate circumstances. Buckle up, it’s not worth the gamble.”

Click It or Ticket will return for an enforcement period targeting rural areas of Colorado beginning July 15 through July 21. Last year, 938 unrestrained drivers and passengers were cited throughout the state during the enforcement.

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.

Results by county can be found at: https://www.codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal

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

 

WHOLE SYSTEM. WHOLE SAFETY.  

To heighten safety awareness, CDOT recently announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative. This project takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.

 

ABOUT CDOT

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal