Seat Belts are Second Nature When You Start Them Young

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(COLO) – Lifelong habits begin early and this is why the Colorado State Patrol is urging parents to become familiar with Colorado’s Child Restraint and Graduated Drivers Licensing law regarding seat belts.

“It is a primary offense for children under 16 to be without a seatbelt or improperly restrained in a vehicle,” explains Trooper Tim Sutherland, Colorado Child Passenger Safety Program Coordinator. “This means you can be pulled over without committing any other traffic infraction because the bottom line is kids are relying on you!” 

In addition, teen drivers can also be pulled over if they or any of their passengers are seen without a seatbelt. In 2021, the Colorado State Patrol issued 692 seat belt citations to young drivers or parents transporting kids 15 or younger.

“We can’t promise that you’ll never have an argument about seat belts as your child turns into a driver, but the odds are in your favor if your family consistently uses seat belts from day one,” stated Trooper Sutherland, Colorado State Patrol. “Make it a rule that the car doesn’t move until all belts are on. And, if you ever need help with your child passenger safety seat visit Car Seats Colorado.”   


  • 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. 

Colorado's child restraint law requires that children 15 years old and younger riding in a vehicle be properly secured regardless of seating position. The table below presents child restraint requirements by age and size of a child. 

Colorado Child Restraint Requirements

Child Age/Size

Statutory Requirement

Less than 1 year and weighing less than 20 pounds

Properly secured in a rear‑facing child restraint system in a rear seat of the vehicle

1 year to 4 years, and weighing 20 to 40 pounds

Properly secured in a rear‑facing or forward‑facing child restraint system

Children up to 8 years

Properly secured in a child restraint system, such as a booster seat, according to the manufacturer's instructions

8 to 15 years

Properly restrained in a safety belt or child restraint system according to manufacturer's instructions

Source: Sections 42‑4‑236 and 42-4‑237, C.R.S.


Every drive or ride should start with a click! If wearing a seat belt is all your child or young driver has ever known, you have increased your child’s chances of survival by 50% in the event of a crash. Nice work mom and dad!


Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs.  In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.