An annual statewide campaign to crack down on seatbelt use will start Monday.
The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and law enforcement partners across the state are launching the ‘Click or Ticket’ campaign to kick off spring and summer driving seasons. The campaign will run from May 21 to June 3, with 80 agencies participating.
According to CDOT, there were 192 unbuckled fatalities on state roads, which accounts for nearly half of the total 383 passenger vehicle deaths last year. Seatbelt use in the state has dropped 84 percent, ranking Colorado in the bottom third for national seat belt use.
“One in about every 33 Colorado drivers will be involved in a crash this year,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “Even the safest drivers can have the unexpected happen on the road and wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to protect yourself in a crash.”
Along with the seatbelt enforcement period, CDOT will feature actual Coloradans in safety ads to help promote seatbelt use. A number of people throughout the state were interviewed, including parents, nurses, priests, firefighters, vets and more, CDOT said.
The safety ads were made in hopes that the stories shared will inspire people to buckle up. From firefighter Kyle Holsinger in Boulder to Pastor Dave Palmer in Parker, all advocating for the same thing, safety.
“Every time you enter a vehicle you make a choice whether or not to buckle up,” said Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the CSP. “We’re imploring Coloradans to think about what that choice really means to them and if it’s worth risking your life over. Seat belts do save lives and I’ve seen it over and over again in this job.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that nearly 60 lives could be saved every year if everyone in the state buckled up. Fines for not wearing a seatbelt will start at $65, CDOT said. Parents and caregivers who have children improperly restrained or unrestrained can also face a minimum fine of $82.
For more information on the campaign and state seatbelt laws, click here.