State buckles down on Click It or Ticket

Special to the Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

The Colorado State Patrol and 63 law enforcement agencies across Colorado are joining the nationwide Click It or Ticket campaign by increasing enforcement of seat belt and child passenger safety laws. The ramped-up enforcement takes place Monday, May 20 through Sunday, June 2. The goal is to get more Coloradans to buckle up and ultimately save lives across the state, according to statements released this week.

In 2012, 159 people who weren’t buckled up lost their lives in traffic crashes on Colorado roadways, which is down from 185 unrestrained fatalities in 2011. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is focusing its public awareness campaign on male pickup truck drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 as they have the highest propensity for not wearing seat belts. Sixty-one men between the ages of 18-34 who died in crashes were not wearing seat belts. And pickup trucks have a seat belt usage rate of 72 percent, which is 10 percent less than the state average usage rate.

“We’ve made progress over the past year in reducing the number of people killed on Colorado roadways, but still far too many motorists aren’t buckling up,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT’s director of highway safety. “The Click It or Ticket campaign gives us an opportunity to remind everyone that seat belts save lives, and that there are serious risks when people don’t buckle up.”

High-visibility enforcement such as the Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with increase seat belt use in Colorado. Since Click It or Ticket started in 2002, seat belt use has increased from 72 percent to 82 percent in 2012. There has also been a 58 percent decline in unrestrained deaths — 380 in 2002 and 159 in 2012.

Last year during the May Click It or Ticket enforcement period, 8,803 seat belt violations were issued.

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