The Click It or Ticket campaign starts on May 24th and will run through June 6th, so drivers should expect to see an increased law enforcement presence, as agencies around the state step up their efforts to cite drivers and passengers who are not buckled up.
Click It or Ticket is national campaign spearheaded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that has been an annual occurrence in Colorado since 2002, and resulted in an increase in statewide seatbelt use from 72% to 86% since it’s inception.
The campaign is scheduled to run during the Memorial Day holiday, because that is a peak travel period as people around the country take advantage of an extra day off to enjoy some, hopefully nice, summer weather. An increase in vehicles on the road comes with an increase in accident risk, and the goal of the campaign is to remind everyone of just how important it is to buckle up, even if it means issuing a citation.
According to Colorado State Patrol Chief Matthew Packard, “This campaign reminds drivers and passengers to make safety their number one priority by buckling up every trip, no matter the distance. We don’t give warnings if we pull someone over without a seatbelt – our goal is to save lives. So if you choose not to take your safety very seriously as we do, we will issue you a ticket.”
But the focus in Colorado isn’t just to discourage people from not wearing a seatbelt with the threat of a ticket, more importantly, it’s to remind people that buckling up is the best thing you can do as a driver, to help ensure you get back to your loved ones safely. And this message is coming at an important time.
Seatbelts Save Lives
So far in 2021, there have been 193 traffic fatalities in Colorado, which is a 12% increase compared to the same time frame just last year.
Of all of the traffic fatalities that happened in 2020 involving a person in a passenger vehicle, 56% were unbuckled at the time the crash occurred that ended their lives, a 7% increase over the 2019 number.
Colorado as a state, has a seatbelt use of 86%, four percentage points lower than the national average, despite the fact that NHTSA research suggests that wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of injury or fatality by as much as 50% during an accident.
El Paso County had the most unbuckled traffic accident fatalities last year at 25, representing the largest increase in the state from the prior year, jumping up at a 66% increase from 2019’s 15 fatalities.
El Paso County was followed by Weld and Arapahoe Counties, with 23 and 20 fatalities respectively.
Colorado Seatbelt Laws
Adults drivers and passengers can be ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt in Colorado, but only if they have been stopped for another traffic violation, they can’t be pulled over only for not wearing a seatbelt. Citations for not wearing a seatbelt start at $65.
But teen drivers under the age of 18, and all of the passengers in their vehicle regardless of age, must wear a seatbelt, and as a primary enforcement they can be pulled over solely for not wearing a seatbelt.
Children under the age of 16 must wear a seatbelt at all times, and law enforcement can pull the driver of a vehicle over if they notice a child unrestrained, or improperly restrained, and it could lead to a minimum fine of $82.
So drive safe this Memorial Day weekend and buckle your seatbelt, you’ll not only help keep you and your passengers safe, you may avoid an annoying ticket.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Traffic Accident Lawyers Today
Have you or a loved one been injured by the negligent actions of another person? Are you concerned you won’t have the money to pay medical bills and lost expenses? If so, you need an experienced Colorado Springs traffic accident attorney on your side to help you fight for justice.
Contact the dedicated attorneys at the Green Law Firm, P.C. today by calling (719) 694-8515, or by filling out the contact form on this page, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your case.