Safety

Seat Belts

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Everyone Has A Reason to Buckle Up. Find Yours.
Whether it is your family, your career or your own life, everyone has a reason to buckle up. In 2018, CDOT talked with real Coloradans to learn their reasons for buckling up. See what they said, in their own words, below.

Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to prevent serious injury or death in a motor vehicle crash. In 2017, Colorado's seat belt use rate was 84 percent, ranking Colorado 36th in the nation.

There were 192 unbelted deaths in passenger-vehicle crashes last year—accounting for half of the 383 passenger vehicle fatalities in 2017. NHTSA estimates that about 60 lives could be saved every year in Colorado if everyone buckled up. CDOT estimates that one in every 33 Colorado drivers could be in a crash in 2018—so why risk it?

With federal funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, CDOT and local law enforcement agencies conduct periodic high-visibility seat belt enforcement waves throughout the year in an effort to save lives and increase belt use on Colorado roadways. The minimum fine is $65 per violation, and parents and caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.

CDOT partners with law enforcement agencies, community coalitions and other safety advocates to educate the public about Colorado's seat belt laws and the importance of wearing seat belts every trip, every time. Since Click It or Ticket was introduced in Colorado in 2002, seat belt use in Colorado has increased from 72 percent and peaked at 85.2 percent in 2015.


A former Army ranger, Anthony Bratsch now works as a public speaker and entrepreneur, among other pursuits that focus on leadership and positive influence. Bratsch buckles up because he cherishes his life, which was nearly lost on several occasions serving our country. He credits his experiences in the military for shaping his life and perspective today.

Bobby Jones is a 19-year Army veteran and father of two teenagers. Having lost friends in motor vehicle accidents, Jones has taught his children to always buckle up—notably his 15-year-old son, who recently received his driver's permit.

Gina Otero is a mother of two daughters, ages 4 and 2. She works full time and knows that using a seat belt gives her the best chance to make it home safely from work to her beloved daughters.

Kyle Holsinger has been a wildland firefighter for five years. He wears his seat belt to make sure he and his crew can do their jobs, responding to incidents quickly and keeping their community safe.

Mindi Salamon has been a behavioral health nurse for nine years. She is passionate about her job and has seen patients in her facility receive care because of motor vehicle crashes. Salamon and her husband are parents to four children; one reason she wears her seat belt is to set a positive example for them.

Edgardo Menjivar is a retired, 30-year Army veteran. In 1986, one of Menjivar's soldiers crashed his vehicle and died after being ejected. The soldier was unbuckled. Menjivar was responsible for delivering the body to the soldier's mother. He said this was the hardest thing he has done in his life. Menjivar buckles up because he wants to protect himself if he's ever in a crash.

Courtney McNear is the mother of two children, Drew and Peyton. Working in the insurance industry, she sees the impacts of people going beltless on a daily basis. Along with her husband, Andy, McNear always buckles up because she knows she is a role model.

Dave Palmer is a pastor, father and grandfather to a 15-year-old grandson. He is a strong advocate for buckling up; all three of his children survived car crashes within the first year of receiving their licenses. Palmer values life and, in order to protect his own life (and make his wife happy), he always wears his seat belt.

Seat Belt Use

  •  Colorado rate: 84% (36th in the nation)
  •  National average: 90%

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal