DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Transportation, 29 local law enforcement agencies and the Colorado State Patrol are preparing to launch a two week campaign on seat belt use. The Click It or Ticket campaign starts on Monday and runs through Nov. 29.
Nearly 300 people died in crashes on Colorado roads so far in 2020; more than half, 160, of those deaths were drivers and passengers who were not wearing a seat belt. In 2019, 196 unbuckled drivers and passengers died in crashes out of 377 total passenger vehicle deaths.
CDOT says Colorado’s seatbelt use rate is 86%, slightly below the national average of 90%. Denver’s seat belt rate has gone up to 93%, the highest in the state.
“The four counties with the lowest in seat belt use rates are all highly rural: Chaffee, Weld, Pueblo and Cheyenne. All four also recorded lower rates in 2020 than in 2019,” CDOT stated.
Officials say 70 lives could be saved annually if seat belt usage reached 100%.
Fines for not wearing a seat belt start at $65 in Colorado.
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 (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.