Sometimes drivers need a reminder that buckling up is the absolute best way to protect themselves and their passengers in a motor vehicle crash. This is why the Western Regional Occupant Safety Coalition is joining with state and local law enforcement as well as highway safety officials to educate citizens on the importance of wearing seat belts through a nationwide Click It or Ticket mobilization occurring May 12-25. The minimum fine for not buckling up is $65.
Unless you want to risk a ticket, or worse – your life, it is critical that you buckle up no matter how far you are driving. Fatal car crashes can and do happen every day, and each year hundreds of lives are lost in those crashes across the state. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 55 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in Colorado in 2013 were unbuckled. And 58 percent of these unbuckled fatalities occurred on rural roadways.
Here are some other interesting statistics to think about:
- 68 percent of unbuckled fatalities in 2013 were men
- 49 percent of unbuckled fatalities in 2013 involved a drunk driver
- 61 percent of fatalities included full or partial ejection from the vehicle
- In 2013 in the counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguelthere were 12 total motor vehicle fatalities, with 41percent being unbuckled.
While those may sound like just numbers, we know from personal experience they represent mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles and friends right here in our communities. Too many families are told about losses that may have been prevented had a loved one only worn a seatbelt.
Stepped-up law enforcement activities will be conducted by law enforcement during the May “Click It or Ticket” enforcement mobilization which runs May 12-25. Last year, 9,355 tickets were issued statewide during a similar Click It or Ticket enforcement period.
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Seat belts saved an estimated 12,546 lives nationwide in 2010, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Wearing your seatbelt costs you nothing, but the cost for not wearing it certainly will.
For more information please visit SeatbeltsColorado.com.
– Robyn Funk, Special Projects Coordinator
Western Regional Occupant Safety Coalition
Category: Letters to the Editor