2,356 seat-belt tickets in just one week on Colorado roadways

Categories: News

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The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol have just announced the results of a recently completed enforcement action entitled "Click It or Ticket" -- the idea being to stress the importance of buckling up before hitting the road. And the results are distressing.

According to CDOT, 2,356 seat-belt citations were passed out during a single week -- a figure 20 percent higher than during a similar effort last year. Why are the numbers getting worse?

"It's a variety of reasons," says CDOT spokeswoman Emily Wilfong -- among them "a heavier focus on this issue. We know seat belts save lives, and we're trying to get those who are typically unlikely to wear them to start."

The latest "Click It or Ticket" operation was conducted July 22-28 during the nighttime because, Wilfong notes, past studies have shown lower seat-belt use after dark. Since Colorado doesn't have what she refers to as a "primary seat-belt law" -- meaning that law enforcers can pull over drivers simply for not being belted -- all of those cited were initially contacted for reasons other than a lack of safety restraints, suggesting that the ticket total would have been much higher under other circumstances.

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From the Colorado State Patrol Facebook page.
Even so, the digits are eye-popping. Of the aforementioned 2,356 tickets, 1,718 were for drivers and passengers age sixteen or over, while 638 were for unrestrained children.

These citations aren't cheap: $65 for adult tickets, $82 for the ones pertaining to kids. But the cost is far higher in a crash when people aren't wearing seat belts. Look no further than the DUI crash involving Britni Bunn, who Facebooked margarita photos before the collision. Her boyfriend, Vincent Gibson, wasn't wearing a seat belt, something that likely contributed to his death.

Last year, during a late July nighttime enforcement period, "Click It or Ticket" racked up 1,858 citations -- about 20 percent fewer than in 2013. But other year-to-year elements are similar, including the makeup of those who tend not to wear seat belts.

Wilfong lists several groups well-represented in this category, including "people driving at night, pickup-truck drivers, teens, people who have been drinking and males in rural areas."

This last demographic stands out in more ways than one. CDOT and the state patrol conduct another enforcement period each April "focused on rural areas," Wilfong points out. "We have heavier concentrations of police looking for that. If officers notice another infraction and notice they aren't wearing a seat belt, they're going to be cited for that, too."

Will the 20 percent rise in seat-belt tickets cause state agencies to concentrate even more on seat-belt use? Not necessarily, Wilfong allows, because it's already such an important part of the mission. But she hopes it will prompt people to listen more closely to what she describes as "our overall message -- that it takes two seconds to buckle up, and it really makes a difference whether someone will survive in an accident."

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Britni Bunn Facebooked booze photos before DUI crash -- and earns eight year sentence."


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48 comments
Niki Chartier
Niki Chartier

Fighting against "the man" he can't tell me what I can & can't do!!

imahead
imahead

donkaylover is on it today..

Monkey
Monkey

the United Police States of America, where we punish those who might be hurt in a theoretical accident. What's next, sunscreen laws, to protect us from skin cancer, and allow police to fine those who don't use it?

Bryan Counts
Bryan Counts

How is this an issue and there is no helmet law for motorcycles? Just another example on how insurance companys have written laws.

Derek MileHigh Nye
Derek MileHigh Nye

What about he cases of people surviving accidents bc they didnt wear tehir seatbelt?

Pam Stiffler
Pam Stiffler

I do EVERY time, even though I don't worry about MY driving skills. Everyone else scares the hell out of me. It's kind of like helmets on a motorcycle. It is not the way I choose to flip off authority. God bless those who do. I choose not to be an organ donor yet

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

I have been ticketed for not wearing a seat-belt because I took it off to get my driver's license out of my wallet.  Your statistics may include a significant and increasing number of such citations.  These may be more lucrative than many moving violations; Denver routinely offers to let drivers accused of errors while driving to plead guilty to having "improper equipment" (a source of real ongoing confusion among defendants in Traffic Court, who often cannot grasp that they are being encouraged to plead guilty to something they didn't do in order to escape the full onus of what they may have done).

Ellen Kessler
Ellen Kessler

I didn't wear my seatbelt until I was caught and ticketed. People don't put them on because they haven't been caught. Yet.

Douglas Evans
Douglas Evans

because I should have the freedom over my own body to do as I wish

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

I don't not like the freaking government dictating how we should live our lives.  Do we really need the government telling us that seat belts are a good idea?   Besides, what ever happened to natural selection?  It wouldn't hurt if a few of the less bright citizens offed themselves by whichever means happens to be available.  (Are you listening donkey boy?)

Evelyn Maria
Evelyn Maria

I don't feel safe unless I buckle up, with so many texters now and people distracted driving its even more important now!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Now that Seatbelts are a Primary Violation -- allowing cops to stop drivers for that infraction alone -- how many more citizens will get busted for DUI-marijuana as cops hone their ability to question and detect for that new Law Enforcement Cash Cow ??

Thanks A64 !! -- REGULATION WORKS !!


Suni Daze
Suni Daze

I have always had an off-roading habit . So seat belts are a must .

Craig Hawkins
Craig Hawkins

I don't even think about it. Seatbelt goes on before the car is even started and it does not move until all in the car has theirs on. Mostly because driving without them causes a loud BEEP BEEP BEEP, but hey, we have em on. :P

Marcus Netters
Marcus Netters

Most people follow the rules.. and some just want to watch the World Burn

Eric Smiles
Eric Smiles

Ignorance. Laziness. Distrust. Many say it's confining. But not quite as confining as a wheelchair or a coffin I would guess..

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "I have been ticketed for not wearing a seat-belt because I took it off to get my driver's license out of my wallet."

Sure ... that tired old excuse ... as effective as the stoner's refrain that their positive DUI-marijuana test was from one joint they smoked "weeks ago".


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues ... so you wear a 5-point racing harness and full face crash helmet everytime you drive -- and demand the same of all your passengers -- because it's "safer", right?

FYF.
FYF.

@DonkeyHotay 

"Now that Seatbelts are a Primary Violation -- allowing cops to stop drivers for that infraction alone -- how many more citizens will get busted for DUI-marijuana as cops hone their ability to question and detect for that new Law Enforcement Cash Cow ??"

FROM THE STORY:

"Since Colorado doesn't have what she refers to as a "primary seat-belt law" -- meaning that law enforcers can pull over drivers simply for not being belted -- all of those cited were initially contacted for reasons other than a lack of safety restraints, suggesting that the ticket total would have been much higher under other circumstances."

YOU FUCKING FAIL. SEATBELT LAWS AREN'T A PRIMARY VIOLATION IN COLORADO YOU FUCKING MORON.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Eric Smiles... so you'd support MANDATORY Crash Helmets for ALL Drivers and Occupants too, eh?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@FYF. "YOU FUCKING FAIL. SEATBELT LAWS AREN'T A PRIMARY VIOLATION IN COLORADO YOU FUCKING MORON"

You pig-ignorant fucktard, Colorado Seatbelt law is Primary for all occupants who are under 16 years old.


FYF.
FYF.

@DonkeyHotay For someone who seems really interested in how other people should be living their lives, why do you suddenly care if someone else is telling you how to live yours?


fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @fishingblues   Another trite overused expression by the half-ass donkey boy.  "Epic Fail" - you and all the little junior high girls are still using it.  Is that all you have, half-ass; pointing out minor misses by someone three times smarter than you?  What a pathetic little turd you are.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@FYF. = habitually changes his username, to avoid the embarrassment of his own posting history.

FYF.
FYF.

@DonkeyHotay = talks to himself under pseudonyms and 'likes' his own comments.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@FYF. = still a legal imbecile, no matter what pseudonym he posts under.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@FYF. <== admits that Colorado's seatbelt law IS a PRIMARY offense for everyone under 16.


FYF.
FYF.

@DonkeyHotay

Ha! Nice try, but everyone knows you failed miserably before and were trying to imply that adults (since most all kids under 16 can't drive and get DUIs) were subject to being pulled over simply for a seatbelt violation.


You should have just accepted that you got served and moved on with your day, you sniveling cunt.

FYF.
FYF.

@DonkeyHotay = says the guy who thinks 'remunerate' is used incorrectly in Amendment 64.

Get a fucking law dictionary, you ignorant cunt.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@FYF. ... it is Primary for all occupants under 16 years old, numbnuts.

And it's the cop's discretion as to who appears to be under 16 when he initiates the stop.


FYF.
FYF.

@DonkeyHotay

How about you tell us again how seatbelt violations are a primary offense in Colorado?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@FYF. ... feel that REGULATION all up inside you punk ... you begged for it!


FYF.
FYF.

@DonkeyHotay

That's right, fall back on your copy/paste when you've got nothing else to say.

It's all you're good at.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@FYF. ... get REGULATED, Bitch! ... REGULATION WORKS!!

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