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CDOT campaign focuses on buckling up (especially in rural areas)

CDOT says seat belt usage is low in rural parts of Colorado compared to other parts of the state. For the next few days, law enforcement will be targeting those areas.

COLORADO, USA — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) this weekend will continue its "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement campaign focusing on rural areas around Colorado.

Working with law enforcement agencies like the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), CDOT's goal is to remind drivers to buckle up. 

In 2018, 410 people died in car accident, and more than half of those people, 215, were not wearing a seat belt, according to CDOT.

CDOT Traffic Safety and Communications Manager Sam Cole said about 86 percent of drivers wear their seat belts, which ranks Colorado 40th in the nation.

Credit: KUSA

In rural areas, that number is often much lower.

"We tend to see less seat belt usage for whatever reason in rural Colorado," Cole said.

According to CDOT, five of the six counties with the lowest seat belt usage were rural counties.

  • Cheyenne: 65 percent
  • Delta: 75 percent
  • La Plata: 76 percent
  • Montezuma and Chaffe: 77 percent

CDOT said its plan is to work to change the low numbers with education and enforcement over this upcoming weekend.

"A lot of people in rural areas feel there aren’t a lot of people on the roads -- They are going a short distance for a jug of milk, and they are a safe driver," Cole said. "But you never know when a deer will pull out in front of you or when a drunk driver will veer into your lane."

Colorado doesn’t have a primary seat belt law, meaning law enforcement can’t pull a driver over for not wearing a seat belt.

Drivers who are pulled over for a different reason and are not wearing one can get a ticket. Fines for not buckling up in Colorado start at $65.

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