CDOT previews seat belt campaign & highlights new statistics

Traffic Safety Pulse News

Despite some improvement from last year, Pueblo County continues to lag behind most other Colorado counties in terms of how often vehicle occupants are buckling up. This made Pueblo a natural fit for CDOT to preview its latest seat belt campaign. Together with partners including the Colorado State Patrol, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary-Corwin Hospital and the Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce, CDOT held a media event on Sept. 13 emphasizing the importance of buckling up, and conducting a live demonstration of a rollover simulator that will be featured in a statewide campaign.

A news conference takes place with CDOT Traffic Safety Communications Manager Sam Cole speaking at a podium in a paved lot. Behind him, a large green CDOT display billboard that says, "Most crashes happen close to home. Most crashes happen under 40 miles per hour. So wear your seat belt every single time."

The 2023 Colorado Statewide Seat-Belt Study revealed only 74% of vehicle occupants in Pueblo County used seat belts, up from 67% in 2022. Neighboring El Paso County also had one of the lowest seat belt usage rates in Colorado, with 79% buckling up. To maintain a high level of awareness and move the needle in a positive direction, CDOT and its partners discussed the latest seat belt statistics and provided news media with a special sneak peek of the Colorado State Patrol rollover simulator, which shows what happens to drivers and passengers in a rollover crash—both when buckled up and unrestrained. The visual difference was clear and stunning, with unrestrained dummies being quickly and violently ejected from the vehicle.

The event featured additional creative for the campaign. An interactive billboard display was used as a backdrop for the news conference and will be stationed at some of Pueblo’s main attractions, including the Pueblo Zoo and Pueblo Riverwalk, to deliver messages on the importance of seat belt safety.

The earned media campaign secured coverage from The Pueblo Chieftain, The Colorado Springs Gazette, Sterling Journal-Advocate, and broadcast news affiliates in Denver and Colorado Springs, including Fox31, 9NEWS, KMGH, KRDO, KKTV, and Fox 21.