The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies recently completed a Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period from July 15 to 21. The enforcement effort focused on the rural areas of Colorado, where seat belt use is the lowest. A preliminary total of 775 drivers were cited during this enforcement period, including 44 drivers who had an improperly restrained child under the age of 15 in the vehicle.
Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement is a crucial component of CDOT's Whole System -- Whole Safety initiative to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Colorado roads.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (180 citations), Dacono Police Department (70 citations) and Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office (46 citations) issued the most citations. In addition, CSP issued 252 citations.
"A car crash can happen in the blink of an eye. Not taking that second to buckle up is a choice that could have tragic consequences," said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of CSP. "For those who received citations, we hope it will serve as a reminder about how simple it is to buckle up and to never risk the lives of yourself or your passengers."
In 2018 there were 632 traffic fatalities on Colorado roads, including pedestrian, motorcyclists and occupants of passenger vehicles. Of those there were 220 unbuckled driver and passenger deaths, which accounted for more than half of the 416 total passenger vehicle fatalities in 2018. Colorado ranks in the bottom third for seat belt use in the United States. Colorado's seat belt use rate is 86 percent, below the national average of 90 percent.
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 Driver 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.