(COLO) – With pandemic restrictions easing across the country, summer travel was anticipated to be even higher this year. In a proactive measure, Colorado and five surrounding states came together to send a consistent message to motorists – stay buckled no matter how far you are traveling. These states launched the campaign on Memorial Day, called State2State. Buckle Up and it will continue through Labor Day.
From the Colorado State Patrol perspective, this is how motorists are doing so far.
From Memorial Day (May 31, 2021) until July 7, 2021, the Colorado State Patrol has issued over 1,675 seatbelt citations. While understandably most of these citations were to drivers holding a Colorado license, to date these citations have included license holders from 36 additional states. After Colorado driver’s, the states that received the most seatbelt citations over this five-week period included, in order of volume:
- Arizona & California (tied)
- New Mexico
In addition, since the State2State Campaign launched on Memorial Day (May 31, 2021), the Colorado State Patrol has investigated 81 injury and fatal crashes where the occupants were either not wearing a seat belt or improperly wearing one. While victim seatbelt usage in fatal crashes has improved slightly this calendar year (42.37% wearing seatbelts) this is still down from pre-pandemic numbers of 2019 where 47% of victims involved in fatal crashes were wearing seatbelts.
Returning to the 81 fatal and injury crashes from Memorial Day until July 7, 2021, with occupants not wearing seatbelts, again the majority of people involved were from Colorado. However, after Colorado, the states that had the highest number of seriously injured or fatalities over this five-week period included, in order of volume:
- New Mexico
The simple message to Buckle Up aims to help make Colorado roads a safer place. Drivers and passengers need to do their part and buckle up no matter what state they call home.
“Coloradoans have a seat belt usage of 86% which is below the national average of 90%, said Chief Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “Your Colorado State Troopers see the results of not wearing a seat belt. We see the loss of life. Make the right choice, not an excuse. Buckle Up.”
Seat belts not only save lives; they can significantly reduce the severity of injuries for those individuals involved in a crash.
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.
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.
ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
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. For additional information, visit us online at Colorado State Patrol or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook.