Click It or Ticket rural seat belt enforcement begins |

Click It or Ticket rural seat belt enforcement begins

Staff Report

The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and rural law enforcement agencies are mobilizing a rural Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period that runs through Sunday.

The increased enforcement is combined with an education campaign targeting rural drivers, an effort to increase seat belt use and save lives on Colorado’s rural roadways.

Colorado has set the goal to reach a seat belt use rate of 84 percent in 2015, an increase of 1.6 percent from Colorado’s 2014 use rate.

In 2013, 177 of the 317 (56 percent) motor vehicle occupants who died in a car crash were not using seat belts or other restraints. During last year’s rural Click It or Ticket enforcement period, 1,723 drivers were cited for seat belt violations — 91 percent of those going to adult drivers older than 21.

Drivers aged 16 to 20 accounted for 81 seat belt violation citations, only 1 percent of the total citations during last year’s enforcement period.

“We’re learning that younger generations are actually better seat belt users than their parents,” said Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Teenage drivers grow up knowing the importance of seat belts and have formed beneficial seat belt habits from an early age. Getting young adults — especially males — to wear seat belts is a greater challenge.”

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 law requires all drivers younger than 18 and their passengers, no matter what their age, 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 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.

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