Largest seat belt enforcement period of the year begins Monday on Colorado roads
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The largest seat belt enforcement period of the year will begin in Colorado on Monday and will last through the end of the month and into the beginning of June.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the state’s seat belt use rate sits at 87%, below the national average of 91.6%. More than 2,700 drivers across Colorado were issued citations during seat belt enforcement periods last year, and 236 unbelted vehicle occupants were killed in Colorado last year.
“This is really a priority for law enforcement out there,” CDOT Traffic Safety Manager Sam Cole told 11 News. “They don’t want to see more of this carnage on our roads, and one of the best ways to bring down the number of traffic deaths is for people to buckle up.”
CDOT officials said the enforcement will be in effect for three weeks and almost 50 law enforcement agencies will participate. Colorado law only requires adults to buckle up in the front seats, but Cole said the risks are high no matter where you’re seated in a vehicle.
“We see people killed in the backseat just as much as we do see people killed in the front seat,” Cole said. “I think it’s a real myth that people think that they’re perhaps safer unbuckled in the backseat-- you’re not, you need to buckle up no matter what seat you’re in.”
Explanations of Colorado’s seat belt laws and their enforcement from CDOT can be found below:
- 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 (GDL) law requires all drivers under 18 and their passengers, regardless of their age, to 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 a 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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