CDOT’s latest Click it or Ticket it campaign is underway, with the focus on encouraging people in rural Colorado to use their seat belts.
Data released by CDOT showed five of the six worst counties for seat belt use were rural counties — Cheyenne, Delta, La Plata, Montezuma and Chaffee counties. In Cheyenne County, research shows only 65 percent of drivers and passengers wear seat belts.
“Unfortunately, there are people who continue to believe they do not need to fasten their seatbelt when getting in a vehicle, many of whom are in rural communities who think they don’t need to buckle up because there is less traffic or they are only traveling a short distance,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Colorado State Patrol’s Chief.
In reality, CDOT said more than 50 percent of accidents occur within a five-mile radius of a person’s home and 70 percent occur within a 10-mile radius.
CDOT also collected statistics on traffic deaths. Of the 416 traffic deaths across the state in 2018, more than half of them were not wearing seat belts.
“I used to think they were uncomfortable and I would wear them under my arm when I did but in October I got hit by a semi and I broke my facial bones because I flew across the car,” said McKenna Froncek, a driver featured in one of the campaign’s new videos. “I definitely do wear my seatbelt now.”
The campaign lasts through Sunday.