Upcoming “Click it or Ticket” enforcement campaign is largest of the year

Statewide — The upcoming Click It or Ticket May Mobilization seat belt enforcement campaign starts Monday, May 13. The increased enforcement is the largest seat belt campaign of the year lasting 21 days. It comes ahead of the summer travel season, which tends to see an increase in traffic crashes across the state.

CDOT will support Colorado State Patrol and 60 participating law enforcement agencies statewide. Drivers and passengers are encouraged to buckle up to avoid citations and arrive home safely. Last year’s May Mobilization enforcement yielded a total of 1,554 seat belt violations

According to the 2023 Colorado Statewide Seat Belt Survey, 88.6% of Coloradans buckle up—the highest on record. Since 2014, seat belt use among commercial vehicle drivers has increased 24%, and pick-up drivers have increased their use by 14%. These both mark significant improvements for groups with historically lower use rates. Colorado still sits below the overall national average of 91.9% use rate.

“Between June and August 2023, there were 200 fatal car crashes on Colorado roadways,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “The unfortunate reality is that an impaired, aggressive or distracted driver could disrupt your drive at any time. Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash and reduce your chance of injury or death by up to 65%.”

In 2023, there were 223 unrestrained occupant vehicle fatalities in Colorado, an 8% decrease from 2022. Since the start of 2024, there have been 63 unbuckled fatalities statewide. Vehicle fatalities are expected to continue decreasing as more Coloradans make the choice to buckle up.

“Most Coloradans are doing the right thing by wearing a seat belt,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “Buckling up is the law. It also protects you from the extreme forces of a crash. Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, be sure to wear a seat belt and encourage others to do the same.”

CDOT stresses the importance of wearing your seat belt correctly. The shoulder belt is designed to fit across your chest and should be kept away from your neck; the lap belt should rest across your hips. Never place the shoulder belt behind you, under your arm or off your shoulder. Proper seat belt use helps keep you secure and is the best defense against injury and death in a crash.

Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children under 13 years old. Parents and caregivers can learn more about Colorado child passenger safety laws, recommendations and car seat recalls at CarSeatsColorado.com.

Colorado’s seat belt laws

Colorado law requires the driver and every front seat passenger of a motor vehicle and the driver and every passenger in an autocycle equipped with a safety belt system to wear a seat belt whenever the vehicle is in operation on a street or highway.

  • 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 ages, 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.

Fines for not buckling up in Colorado start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.

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.

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