More Coloradans Buckle Up to Save Lives Colorado Receives Federal Funding for Additional Seat Belt Enforcement Waves Date released: 10/3/2007 Colorado's adult seat belt usage rate is at an all-time high of 81.1 percent, reports the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The observational study was conducted in June and July by the Institute of Transportation Management at Colorado State University. The study focused on adult seat belt use in vehicles normally used for personal transportation and excluded commercial vehicles. "We are pleased that the number of Coloradans buckling up continues to rise and has contributed to our state's overall decline in traffic fatalities," said Russell George, CDOT Executive Director. "Yet more than 60 percent of those killed in crashes each year are not wearing seat belts, and we know that half of them would probably be alive if they had been buckled up." While the state's overall seat belt usage rate is 81.1 percent, seat belt use varies widely between different vehicle types and regions. Pickup truck drivers and passengers in Eastern Colorado scored the lowest in seat belt use with a rate of 60.6 percent, while drivers of vans along the Front Range scored highest at 86.7 percent. Seat belt use among Colorado teenagers remains much lower than the rest of the population. According to a separate observational study, just 72.9 percent of Colorado teens, ages 16 to 20 wear their seat belts. "We encourage teen drivers to make smart driving choices by always buckling up themselves and their passengers," said Colonel Mark Trostel, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "We know seat belts save lives and law enforcement will do its part to remind all drivers to buckle up." In an effort to increase Colorado's seat belt use and reduce fatalities, the state receives federal funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for high-visibility seat belt enforcement, which includes enforcement combined with paid media and education efforts. During the national Click It or Ticket mobilization in May, 12,250 seat belt citations were issued in Colorado. Colorado has been awarded a special grant from NHTSA to conduct four additional Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement waves over the next eight months. The next Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement wave is October 15-21st. The overtime seat belt enforcement will take place in 11 counties with an educational effort focused on young drivers. The counties selected -- based on population, include: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Pueblo, and Weld.
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