Denver, CO

Colorado troopers want men to start wearing their seatbelts

Sara B. Hansen

By Sara B. Hansen / NewsBreak Denver

(Statewide) Colorado drivers fall below the national average for seatbelt use, and men are less likely than women to buckle up.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says seatbelts reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash by 50%.

Yet the Colorado Department of Transportation's most recent statistics show only 86 percent of Colorado's drivers buckle up compared with 90 percent of drivers nationally.

“Looking at our 2021 data, we’ve definitely noticed who is less likely to use this proven, life saving device,” said Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol chief.

"Colorado State Troopers responded to more serious injury and fatality crashes involving improper use or no use of seatbelts with our male drivers between the ages of 20 to 39 than any other group." 

Getting a ticket

Troopers issue tickets when they stop drivers for other traffic infractions. The Colorado State Patrol issued more than 14,590 seatbelt citations in 2021. Of those drivers, 3,780 were women, and 10,810 were men.

"Getting thrown from a vehicle or getting tossed around violently inside during a crash will probably only happen once in your lifetime," Packard said.

Colorado seat belt laws

If law enforcement officers stop the vehicle for another traffic violation, they can ticket drivers and front-seat passengers for violating the seatbelt law.

Troopers and other law enforcement officers can stop and ticket teen drivers under 18 if they or any of their passengers (regardless of age) fail to buckle up.

Law enforcement officers can stop and ticket any driver for having unrestrained or improperly restrained children under age 16 in the vehicle.

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Sara is the Denver news manager for NewsBreak. She's held editing roles at The Denver Post, The Des Moines Register, and The Fort Collins Coloradoan.

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