CDOT statewide seat belt enforcement period underway |

CDOT statewide seat belt enforcement period underway

Summit Daily Staff Report

The Colorado Department of Transportation kicked off the statewide May Mobilization Click It or Ticket campaign on Monday, the longest seat belt enforcement period of the year.

The campaign, which runs through June 2, is meant to support CDOT’s Whole System Whole Safety initiative, and reduce deaths and injuries on the roadway. To date, traffic fatalities in Colorado are down 23% from last year.

There were 220 unbuckled fatalities in Colorado last year, more than half of all roadway fatalities. The state’s drivers increased seat belt use to 86% in 2018, though that still falls well below the national average of 90%.

“If everyone wore their seat belt, an estimated 70 lives could have been saved in 2017,” said Shoshana Lew, CDOT director. “These losses impact whole families and entire communities, and no level of driving excellence on the road can protect you from the unexpected. Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to protect yourself in a crash.”

Last year almost 5,700 tickets were issued to unbuckled drivers during the May enforcement period, including 234 citations for improperly restrained children under 15 years old. Fines for not wearing a seat belt start at $65, and $82 for failing to properly restrain a child.

“During this enforcement period we hope people will look at this choice as one that can be life changing,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We see it every day — seat belts save lives.”