Seatbelts seem to be lost in the shuffle when it comes to cutting-edge motor vehicle innovations. Swedish inventor Nils Bohlin invented the restraint to protect the upper and lower body. His three-point design remains the standard for today.
In 1968, the federal government mandated that manufacturers incorporate seat belts into their vehicles. New York became the first state to mandate their use in 1984, with almost all other states eventually requiring the restraints. New Hampshire remains the outlier with no law on their books.
A record number of infractions
Colorado’s mandatory seatbelt laws are based on the ages of drivers and occupants. Adults drivers and front-seat passengers have to wear one. Drivers under 18 and their passengers are also required. Should they fail to use a belt, they can be pulled over specifically for that infraction. That includes younger children as well.
While the law has flexibility, drivers still violate it statewide, resulting in Colorado ranking lower in seatbelt use than the national average for 2021.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use reduces the risk of injury or death by 50%. That didn’t stop a total of 14,590 citations from being issued by the Colorado State Patrol last year, with the stops largely being due to another traffic violation.
Nearly 4,000 of those violators were female and almost 11,000 were men. Males 20 to 39 were involved in the most crashes that resulted in serious injuries and deaths.
A member of law enforcement pulling you over does not equate to immediate guilt. Help from a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help get to the facts and minimize, if not eliminate, criminal consequences and points against drivers’ licenses.