Heightened seat belt enforcement is on this weekend in Summit | SummitDaily.com

Heightened seat belt enforcement is on this weekend in Summit

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Heightened seat belt enforcement will continue through April 1 in Summit County and other rural parts of the state, where seat belt use tends to be the lowest.

Last year, 1,306 seat belt citations were issued across rural Colorado during the "Click it or Ticket" enforcement week, a campaign sponsored by the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol.

"Unrestrained crash fatalities account for more than half of the motor vehicle occupant fatalities in Colorado," CDOT transportation safety director Darrell Lingk said in a news release. "This Click It or Ticket rural enforcement is a reminder that buckling up saves lives. Our goal is to decrease fatalities this year, and seat belt use will be a key factor to achieve this."

In 2017, Colorado's seat belt use rate was 84 percent, ranking Colorado 36th in the nation in seat belt use, according to CDOT. Last year, 211 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in crashes in Colorado — a 14 percent increase from 2016. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 58 lives could be saved every year if Colorado had 100 percent seat belt use.

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.