CDOT shares true stories of horrific crashes to get people to buckle up


Click It Or Ticket heightened enforcement begins Saturday

STATEWIDE — Grab a tissue. CDOT is releasing new videos narrated by victims or family members in Colorado in which the decision to buckle up - or not - was life changing. The goal of telling the stories is to reach people who may not buckle up and influence them to do so. Although the videos describe the tragic consequences of not buckling up, they also feature stories of people who did buckle up and lived to talk about it.

“I received the phone call that no parent ever wants to receive,” said Christy Schultz, who lost her daughter in an unbuckled crash and is featured in one of the videos. “You may think that your choice to not buckle up only impacts you, but it could change the lives of your loved ones in an instant. I never want another family to experience the loss of a child due to an unbuckled crash and hope my daughter’s story is a reminder to others to always buckle up.”

Each video connects individual strangers around similar crashes. These stories encourage Coloradans to buckle up and help improve safety on Colorado roadways. Participants in the video series include:

 * Christy Schultz, Douglas County, mother of daughter lost in an unbuckled crash

* Amy Nichols, Jefferson County, mother of son lost in an unbuckled crash

* Hannah Ellenberger, Weld County, daughter of mother lost to an unbuckled crash

* Logan Roth, Jefferson County, walked away from a crash unharmed due to wearing his seat belt

* Jeremy Greene, Eagle County, lives with the impacts of a brain injury due to an unbuckled crash

* Alejandra, Denver County, wore her seat belt and survived a serious crash with only a minor injury

* Oscar, Boulder County, walked away from a crash, with no injuries, because he was wearing his seat belt 

To view and download the video series, visit: https://bit.ly/SeatBeltStories  

“Fatal crashes that involve unbuckled drivers and passengers are far too common in Colorado,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of CDOT’s Highway Safety Office.  “Buckling up is a simple and smart choice that exponentially increases your odds of survival in a crash. It’s also the law in Colorado.”

The Click It Or Ticket statewide enforcement period runs from July 31 to Aug. 6. The seat belt enforcement period is the second Click It or Ticket enforcement period of 2021. In May over 2000 drivers received seat belt citations during the first enforcement period.

To date in 2021, 104 people who were not buckled up have died in crashes in Colorado.

The video series is an extension of CDOT’s Common Bond campaign, which highlights that even though Coloradans hold passionate opinions and may not agree on everything, they can all get behind seat belts. For more about the Common Bond campaign, please visit SeatBeltsColorado.com.

Colorado’s seat belt use rate dropped to 86% in 2020, below the national average of 90%. It’s one easy choice — if you are going to enter a vehicle, put on your seat belt.

COLORADO’S SEAT BELT LAWS

Adults — Colorado has a secondary enforcement law for adult drivers and front-seat passengers. Drivers can be ticketed for violating the seat belt law if they are stopped for another traffic violation.

Teens — Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) law requires all drivers under 18 and their passengers, regardless of their age, to wear seat belts. This is a primary enforcement, meaning teens can be pulled over simply for not wearing a seat belt or having passengers without seat belts.

Children — Colorado’s Child Passenger Safety law is a primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child under age 16 in the vehicle.

Fines for not buckling up in Colorado start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82 

Three out of four parents think their children are in the right car seat, but they are not. Car seat checks are available at car seat inspection stations statewide, and in response to COVID-19, Car Seats Colorado program coordinator Angel Giffin is available for virtual seat checks. Parents and caregivers can learn more information on car seat safety and inspections at CarSeatsColorado.com

ABOUT CLICK IT OR TICKET

Click It or Ticket is a nationwide campaign from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Since Click It or Ticket was introduced in Colorado in 2002, statewide seat belt use has increased from 72% to 86%. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit SeatBeltsColorado.com.

ABOUT CDOT

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.

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