Pueblo activation shines light on poor seat belt usage

Traffic Safety Pulse News

Seat belt usage in Pueblo County falls far below the state and national average. To call attention to recent data that shows only 67 percent of vehicle occupants in Pueblo County buckle up, CDOT, Colorado State Patrol, local emergency responders and student athletes joined forces during a news conference on Sept. 28. The event was held on the scenic Pueblo Riverwalk with creative light displays and the “Seat Belt Convincer.”

Nine people stand facing the camera for a group photo. Individuals who took part in a news conference on seat belt safety are pictured, including emergency responders in uniform, state law enforcement in uniform, Pueblo, Colorado student athletes in football jerseys, and a representative for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

CDOT shared the statistics of Pueblo County seat belt use while its partners, including a trauma nurse at Parkview Medical Center and firefighters from Pueblo Fire, provided uniquely powerful perspectives on the issue. The Colorado State Patrol Troop 2D also demonstrated the consequences of not buckling up with the “Convincer,” a machine that simulates the impact associated with a sudden stop at five to seven miles per hour— a force up to five times a person’s body weight. Local high school football players, and broadcast and print reporters, were allowed to ride the “Convincer” to experience the force of a low-speed crash.

A young female reporter wears a red shirt and gray skirt and sits in a crash simulator machine in Pueblo, Colorado. In the background, a Colorado State Patrolman and a Pueblo firefighter watch the reporter before the machine is turned on.

The event used additional creative assets that featured “The Reasons” campaign messaging customized for Pueblo. Branded water bottles, pop up banners, sidewalk decals, and spotlights on bridges over the riverwalk aimed to bring greater awareness to seat belt safety to the community.
The event garnered media coverage from the Pueblo Chieftain, and broadcast news affiliates KRDO, KKTV, and Fox 21 TV.

A vinyl sticker on a Pueblo sidewalk says “The Chile Fest will be back again next year. Reason number 61 to buckle up Pueblo.” Illustration of a seat belt and the Colorado Department of Transportation logo are visible behind the text.