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Click it or ticket: Colorado enforcement yields 1,760 citations in May

Jun 20, 2024, 6:30 AM | Updated: 12:46 pm

As the days grow longer and hotter, people in Colorado are eager to enjoy the outdoors and bask in the sun. With more travelers hitting the road, the Colorado State Patrol and 60 other law enforcement agencies have organized the longest seat belt enforcement period of the year, which took place from May 13 to June 2.

According to a release from CDOT, the May Mobilization Click It or Ticket enforcement resulted in 1,760 drivers ticketed for not wearing a seat belt or having unbuckled passengers. CDOT oversees the implementation of the campaign. During the campaign, 73 drivers were cited for improperly restrained children in their vehicle. Also, 125 teenagers were cited for not wearing a seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of teenagers involved in fatal crashes aren’t buckled up. CDOT encourages parents and caregivers to communicate the significance of seat belt safety to teens.

According to preliminary data, the law enforcement agencies that issued the most citations during the enforcement period were the Colorado State Patrol  (758 citations,) Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (120 citations), Loveland Police Department (108 citations), Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (81 citations) and Lakewood Police Department (77 citations).

Click It or Ticket: Colorado enforcement yields 1,760 citations in May - CDOT

Credit: Colorado State Patrol

“Our seat belt enforcement efforts allow motorists to reassess their priorities regarding wearing this life-saving device. If you don’t want to take three seconds to buckle up, we don’t mind taking a few minutes to issue a citation,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the CSP. “Make it a daily habit, not just because it is required by law, but because it is the best way to protect yourself in a crash.”

The summer travel season can be quite risky. Last year, there were 277 fatal crashes on Colorado roads between May and August, accounting for 38 percent of the total fatalities for the year. Wearing your seatbelt is the most effective way to protect yourself in case of a crash. By buckling up, you ensure your safety inside the car. Conversely, not wearing a seatbelt puts you at a high risk of being ejected from the vehicle during a crash, which is almost always fatal. Another common misconception is that having airbags in your vehicle eliminates the need for a seatbelt. However, airbags are designed to complement seat belts, not replace them. Without a seatbelt, the impact of an airbag can result in serious injuries or even death.

In Colorado, seat belt infractions start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child will receive a minimum fine of up to $82.

The next Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period begins July 22 and goes through August 2.

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 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.

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Click it or ticket: Colorado enforcement yields 1,760 citations in May