Colorado’s seat belt enforcement campaign begins on Monday |

Colorado’s seat belt enforcement campaign begins on Monday

Summit Daily staff report

The Colorado Department of Transportation, the Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies around the state are set to kick off a six-day Click it or Ticket seat belt enforcement period in rural areas beginning on Monday.

“One of CDOT’s core values is safety, and seat belt use is crucial to keeping drivers and passengers safe on the roads,” said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “We hope the Click It or Ticket rural campaign will encourage people to buckle up, especially in areas with the most opportunity to increase usage rates and save lives.”

Colorado’s seat belt usage rate is 86 percent, below the national average of 90 percent. Last year, 215 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in crashes, more than half of total roadway fatalities. During the same enforcement period last year, 1,279 seat belt citations were issued in rural communities across the state. Fines for not buckling up start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.

“Hospitals are often few and far between in rural areas so emergency vehicles have more distance to travel to help those involved in a serious crash,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Buckling a seat belt is simple and the protection provided is invaluable — seat belts reduce the risk of serious injury and death in motor vehicle crashes by 50 percent. In order to save your life and the lives of others in the car, we encourage everyone to buckle up every time you enter a vehicle.”

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