Click it or ticket campaign nets 1,815 seatbelt violations

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In a weeklong crack down on driving without a seatbelt, law enforcement agencies in 11 counties issued 1,815 seat belt citations from July 21-27.

Of those, 120 were issued in Colorado Springs.

Law enforcement agencies ramped up efforts to enforce seatbelt use at night because that’s when vehicle occupants are most likely to stop wearing their seatbelts. During the weeklong enforcement period, five drivers and passengers died in crashes in the state, and two of them were not wearing seat belts.

Of the 1,815 citations given, 1,684 of them were for unrestrained drivers and passengers ages 16 and up. The other 131 were for unrestrained children. The minimum fine for not wearing a seat belt in Colorado is $65 for adults and $82 for unrestrained children.

“The goal of Click it or Ticket is to save lives, not write a bunch of tickets,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Seat belts are the easiest and best defense to protect yourself in the event of a crash. Not doing so can cost you more in the long run than the price of a citation.”

Click It or Ticket started in 2002, and since then seat belt use in Colorado has increased from 72 percent to 82.9 percent. There has also been a 56 percent decline in unrestrained deaths — from 380 in 2002 to 166 in 2010.

Increased enforcement took place in the following counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Pueblo and Weld. The agencies reporting the highest number of seat belt citations were: