Wednesday, July 28, 2021

CDOT: Summer Click It or Ticket enforcement begins Saturday - Campaign announced today in Weld County

 NEWS FROM:


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Sam Cole, CDOT Communications Manager
 303-859-1304 (cell)  303-757-9484 (desk)
sam.cole@state.co.us


July 28, 2021

Click It or Ticket enforcement begins Saturday
Campaign announced today in Weld County  

 

*To interview any of the speakers from the Weld County press event, contact Sam Cole (contact info above). 


**Please visit this link for Weld County press event photos, b-roll and additional information: https://bit.ly/3eYk6Ik


STATEWIDE — On Saturday the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will begin a Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period to ensure Colorado drivers buckle up. The enforcement period will run from July 31 to Aug. 6. 


To kick off this enforcement period, local safety partners in Weld County came together on Wednesday at Banner Health’s North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley to discuss the importance of wearing seat belts. Speakers included CDOT, Colorado State Patrol, a surgeon from Banner Health, a representative from the DRIVE SMART Weld County Coalition and Hannah Ellenberger, a Weld County resident who lost her mother in an unbuckled crash when she was a child.


“You rarely think that one small choice is going to change somebody’s life forever. But it changed my life forever,” said Ellenberger. “I’ve experienced firsthand how the choice to buckle up can impact the rest of your life. Please choose to wear your seat belt for every trip, no matter the distance.”


Colorado’s seat belt use rate is 86% — well below the national use average of 90%.


Last year, 203 unbuckled people died in crashes on Colorado roadways, accounting for 56% of the total passenger vehicle fatalities in the state.  El Paso (25 deaths), Weld (23 deaths) and Arapahoe (20 deaths) counties had the most deaths that involved unbuckled drivers and passengers in 2020. These three counties comprised 33% of all unbuckled passenger vehicle deaths in Colorado that year. 


CDOT is also releasing a new video series featuring interviews with victims and family members telling the stories of their life-changing traffic crashes in Colorado. Ellenberger is featured in this new series, and she hopes that by sharing her story, she can influence her neighbors to buckle up. These intimate experiences are meant to encourage Coloradans to always buckle up and help improve the safety of our roadways.  To view and download the video series, visit https://bit.ly/SeatBeltStories.


Historically, Colorado’s rural counties have the lowest seat belt use in the state. In addition to increased seat belt enforcement statewide, CDOT is targeting rural counties with radio public service reminders to buckle up. According to CDOT’s 2020 Statewide Seat Belt Usage Study, the four counties with the lowest seat belt usage rates were all rural counties and had lower than 80 percent use — Chaffee (79%), Weld (76%), Pueblo (74%) and Cheyenne (69%). Furthermore, each county’s seat belt usage rate decreased from 2019 to 2020.


“Our ultimate goal is to keep Colorado motorists safe,” said Chief Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “We want wearing seat belts to become a habit. While we don't want to issue a citation, we will in order to underscore the importance of this life-saving behavior. We want everyone using Colorado roadways to understand our message—seat belts save lives.” 


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The July enforcement is the second Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period this year. Participating law enforcement agencies cited 2,123 unbuckled Coloradans in the previous statewide enforcement period in May. Fines for not buckling up in Colorado start at $65, and parents or caregivers traveling with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82. During the May enforcement period, 58 drivers were cited for having unrestrained children in their vehicles. 


“Crash data reveals that one in 33 Colorado drivers will be in a car crash this year. Wearing a seat belt is the best way to reduce the risk of injury and death in motor vehicle crashes,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “Enforcement of our seat belt law serves a purpose. Every citation issued is a potential life saved. ”


ABOUT CLICK IT OR TICKET

Click It or Ticket is a nationwide campaign from NHTSA. Since Click It or Ticket was introduced in Colorado in 2002, statewide seat belt use has increased from 72% to 88%. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit SeatBeltsColorado.com.


WHOLE SYSTEM. WHOLE SAFETY.  

This effort is part of CDOT’s Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety, combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.

ABOUT CDOT

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.


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