Buckle up, pronto | AspenTimes.com

Buckle up, pronto

Dear Editor:

Colorado roadways claim the lives of hundreds of motorists every year, and a leading cause of this tragedy is low seat belt use.

As we begin 2008, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) will join other local law enforcement agencies to increase seat belt enforcement efforts Jan. 14 to 20 to buckle down on those not buckling up.

Too many motorists, especially teens, have the attitude that they are invincible on the road, and a bad car crash will not happen to them. The reality is, serious car crashes can and do happen every day, and the failure to buckle up can be fatal.

Teen motorists are especially at risk as they are among those least likely to buckle up. During 2006 in Colorado, 72 teen drivers and passengers ages 15 to 20 were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and 68 percent (49 teens) of those killed were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash.

During these especially treacherous winter months it is important for all drivers, including teens, to take the necessary precautions to stay safe. In Colorado, ice and snow make for dangerous road conditions, so it is important for passengers and drivers to buckle up every time they get in a vehicle. Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect drivers and passenger, and reduce serious injuries and fatalities in vehicle crashes.

Nationally, in 2006, 72 percent of passenger vehicle occupants involved in fatal crashes who were wearing their seat belts survived the crash. Yet too many motorists, especially teens, choose to ignore this life saving fact.

While all teens are at high risk of experiencing a fatal crash, it has been the experience of the Colorado State Patrol that young males, pickup truck drivers and passengers, as well as people living in rural areas also are among those least likely to buckle up.

Colorado law enforcement will be out in force this year to help make sure motorists of all ages understand that wearing your seat belt costs you nothing, but not wearing it could cost you a ticket, or worse ” your life.

No more exceptions. No more excuses. Please join us and make a resolution to buckle up day and night ” “Click It or Ticket.”

Col. Mark Trostel

Chief of the Colorado State Patrol


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