Multistate campaign to raise awareness of seat belt safety

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(Colo.) - Be a good neighbor and buckle up. State transportation and law enforcement agencies from Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming are coming together to remind travelers to always wear seat belts. The State2State.Buckle up campaign wants both drivers and passengers to stay buckled no matter what state they are in or how far they are traveling. 

The campaign coincides with the start of the national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period, which begins May 24 and continues through June 6. 

Colorado will alert travelers on social media and on digital highway signs near the state border about the importance of buckling up. Between 2017 and 2020 there were 86 deaths on Colorado highways involving people who were unbuckled and from another state. 

Colorado’s current seat belt use rate is 86.3%, which is below the national average of 90%. To help make Colorado roads a safer place, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol encourages all drivers and passengers to do their part and buckle up no matter what state they call home. 

“As the summer travel season gets rolling, we will see more travelers from neighboring states coming to Colorado. Whether a visitor or a resident, we want every occupant of a vehicle to be buckled up. It doesn't matter how long or short the trip,” said Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “We see the results of not wearing a seat belt all the time. We see the loss of life. So often, it could have been prevented.” 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash by 50%. NHTSA research also found that most crashes occur within 25 miles of home. Improperly wearing a seat belt, such as putting the strap below your arm, puts you and your passengers at risk of a crash.

“Buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to prevent injury or death in a crash,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “I know road trips can be long, but don’t risk your safety by removing your seat belt, even if you are a passenger. If you crash you are likely to be ejected from the vehicle, which can cause severe, if not fatal, injuries.” 

STATE2STATE. BUCKLE UP. 

State2State. Buckle up. is a multi-state seat belt safety campaign led by local transportation and law enforcement agencies from Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Utah, and Wyoming. The summer-long seat belt awareness campaign launches alongside the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) and the Colorado Click It or Ticket May seat belt enforcement period. 

CLICK IT OR TICKET  Day and Night

High-visibility seat belt enforcement is important 24 hours a day, but nighttime is especially deadly for unbuckled occupants. In 2019, 55% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. 

Click It or Ticket isn’t about citations; it’s about saving lives. In 2019, there were 9,466 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. To help prevent crash fatalities, we need to step up seat belt enforcement, day and night.

Learn more about the Click It or Ticket mobilization at www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

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 (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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