Mon May 23, 2011

Click it or Ticket Seat Belt Campaign Launches in Colorado

This week law enforcement agencies across Colorado are strictly enforcing seat belt and child passenger safety laws as part of a larger nation-wide campaign.

The number of Coloradans using seatbelts has jumped to 83% since Click it or Ticket campaigns first started in 2002.  But 166 people who weren't buckled up lost their lives on Colorado roadways last year. Colorado Department of Transportation Spokeswoman Heather Halpape says nearly half would have lived, if they had been using a seatbelt. Seat belts are credited as being the most effective way to prevent injury or death in a crash.

There’s a lot of crashes out there that are survivable and law enforcement responds to those crashes and it’s really sad when you know that they could have survived if they’d remained in their vehicle with a seat belt, but are ejected and don’t survive,” says Halpape.

Still, in Colorado drivers can’t be pulled over solely for not wearing a seat belt.

“So that’s why law enforcement is really focusing on other traffic enforcement, really working overtime on those efforts.  So if you’re caught speeding or doing unsafe lane changes or those types of things are you aren’t wearing a seat belt, you’ll definitely get a seat belt ticket,” says Halpape.

The Colorado State Patrol and more than 100 local law enforcement agencies are participating in the seat belt crackdown, which runs through this Sunday. Nationally, seat belt use has been steadily increasing over the last decade – reaching 85% in 2010. 

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