Colorado’s annual Click It or Ticket summer initiative has just completed its first phase. The program partners with the Colorado Department of Transportation and more than 60 law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
From May 24 to June 6, the state issued 2,123 citations to drivers not wearing their seat belts. Fifty-eight additional tickets involved improper restraint of a child under 15. Fines start at $65, with tickets involving children carrying a minimum fine of $82.
The top agencies who garnered the most citations were:
- Jefferson County Sherriff’s Department – 364
- Colorado Springs Police Department – 285
- Castle Rock Police Department – 190
Also pulling in significant traffic violation numbers was the Colorado State Patrol with 289.
A vast majority of Coloradans already use their seatbelts. Studies show use at 86 percent, which is only slightly lower than the national average of 90 percent.
Severe consequences for not buckling up
Colorado seatbelt laws range in severity based on the age of drivers or passengers. Adult drivers stopped for a different traffic violation can receive a second citation for not wearing a seatbelt. An unbelted passenger in the front can also be cited.
Teenagers can also be pulled over solely for not wearing seatbelts, along with passengers in the car who are not properly restrained. Children younger than 16 who are not belted will result in a traffic violation for the driver.
The second phase of Click It or Ticket will occur from July 31 to August 6.
A similar, concurrent initiative – the State2State Buckle Up – has also been launched. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is working with officials in surrounding states that include Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
With Colorado – and the rest of the country – emerging from a worldwide pandemic with certain mandates ending and vaccinations increasing, more vehicles on the road will likely result in more tickets issued in subsequent phases.
A traffic ticket for any alleged infraction does not mean that a violation necessarily occurred. While considered a minor crime, multiple citations can result in serious fines and the possible suspension or revocation of a driver’s license.