Hundreds cited for seat belt violations during recent enforcement period

DENVER –Almost 1,300 people were caught during a six-day crackdown on seat belt safety across the state.

About a hundred of those were ticketed in Colorado Springs.

The sting focuses on night time driving, because CSP said the risk of being in a dangerous wreck is greater when the sun goes down.

Of the 1,300 violations, 61 were for kids not being buckled up.

CSP said it’s common for kids not only to be in the wrong type of seat, but not properly secured as well.

Drive safe Colorado said these numbers show just how bad the problem is.

“Its always shocking to me to hear that thirteen hundred drivers were caught not wearing a seat belt, because, frankly, every single person should be wearing a seat belt all the time any time you’re in the car,” said the Executive Director of Drive Smart Colorado Mile Gray.

“The last call we want to make as a trooper is a call to somebodies family saying, ‘hey, this crash could have been prevented, or he could of still been here with us today, if he was wearing his seat belt,” said CSP Trooper Timothy Sutherland.

The accidents happen all the time.

“It’s very frequent. You’d be surprised at how frequent the accidents are and that’s why we have these campaigns,” said Sutherland.

When properly engaged in a crash your seat belt should keep you ten to twelve inches away from the air bag and there’s actually statistics that show just how much safer you are when you buckle up.

“Anywhere between fifty five and sixty percent you will reduce the incidents of being injured or killed in a traffic crash if you are wearing your seat belt,” said Gray.

Getting into an accident can be unavoidable, and if it’s bad, “wearing a seat belt will give those emergency responders time to get you to a hospital, so that a doctor can work on you. If you’re not wearing a seat belt and you are ejected you’ve basically blown all chances of that happening,” said Gray.

“Make a habit. Just as it is turning on your car every day. When you get in that car, first thing you do is start that engine, put your seat belt on. Take the extra time just to throw that seat belt across your waist and get out there and be safe,” said Sutherland.

CSP said the crackdown isn’t about catching people.

It’s about the education about how important it is to buckle up.

Because it’s a secondary violation, they said there were probably a lot more people who didn’t get caught, because they didn’t get pulled over for something else.

The minimum fine for a seat belt violation is $65. The minimum fine for having an unrestrained child is $82.

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