DENVER (CBS4)– There was a nearly 12 percent spike in deadly traffic accidents in Colorado last year. Now the Colorado Department of Transportation has launched a campaign to get people to buckle up as the dangerous trend continues.
As of Sept. 20, there have been 423 traffic fatalities across the state. Last year at this time there were 415. Of those, 147 people were not wearing seat belts.
To represent the danger posed by not buckling up, and the seriousness of the trend, stencils representing those victims in the crashes have been painted on the sidewalks surrounding Civic Center Park. Each stencil has the message: “Be a Survivor. Buckle Up.”
“Looking at the sidewalk, when people see these stencils out there, and they see the number 147, we want them to really realize that that was somebody’s child, that was somebody’s brother, sister, mother, father. Those were real people and those were recent traffic fatalities and that is just this year,” said CDOT spokesman Sam Cole.
According to CDOT, Colorado lags behind other states when it comes to wearing seatbelts, coming in at 39th in the U.S.
A recent example of a deadly crash involving a person not wearing a seatbelt happened Tuesday morning near Jewell and Parker Road. A 28-year-old man was killed when his vehicle was struck by a truck and he was thrown from the car.
CDOT has about $300,000 set aside to expand the seatbelt safety campaign into 2017.