It’s a Habit You Can Live With
Law Enforcement in 50 rural counties conduct Click It or Ticket enforcement March 31-April 6th
DENVER – In an effort to increase seat belt use and save lives on rural Colorado roadways, the Colorado State Patrol and 36 rural law enforcement agencies in 50 counties are mobilizing for a Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period, March 31 through April 6th. The enforcement is combined with a seat belt education campaign, aimed at dispelling the myths and excuses people make for not buckling up.
“Many people think that they are safer driving in rural areas with less traffic, but it’s a fact that most fatalities in Colorado happen on rural roadways, and more than half of the people killed are not wearing seat belts, ” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We’re not trying to pick on rural drivers by writing citations—we just want to remind everyone of the importance of wearing seat belts to save lives. ”
In 2009, 254 people were killed in crashes on rural roadways, representing 54% of the state’s total fatalities. More than half of those killed in rural areas were not wearing a seat belt, compared to 36% in urban areas.
One of the biggest reasons people give for not buckling up is that they aren’t traveling very far. The reality is that 85% of crashes occur within five miles of a person’s home. Others say they simply forget to buckle up because they never developed the habit.
“We hope this concentrated education and enforcement effort will be the catalyst for everyone to start a habit that will save their own life and those of their loved ones, ” said Pamela Hutton, governor’s representative for highway safety at the Colorado Department of Transportation. “It takes just two seconds to buckle up, making the difference between life and death. ”
Drivers of pickup trucks have the lowest overall seat belt use at just 73%, compared to 85% in cars. Nearly 8 out of 10 people killed in pickup trucks in Colorado did not wear a seat belt. Pickup trucks are twice as likely to roll over in a crash, despite the belief that they are safer vehicles.
The increased seat belt enforcement will take place in the following counties: