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CDOT heads into holiday weekend with new safety campaign

June 29, 2021 - Statewide Traffic Safety - “Baseball is back” one of many Reasons to buckle up

STATEWIDE – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has developed a new program to raise awareness of seat belt safety in Colorado. The 2021 “Reasons” campaign kicked off today with sidewalk art installations to remind drivers and passengers to always wear seat belts. 

CDOT is engaging with Coloradans in an unexpected way: placing custom sidewalk art in high foot-traffic areas across the Front Range. Over the next few weeks, these temporary messages will remind drivers that they have many reasons to buckle up.

 
Your Dog Would Miss You Baseball is back reason stencil You're not out of Dad's jokes yet reason stencil

During the recent statewide Click It or Ticket enforcement period, 2,123 drivers across Colorado were cited for not buckling up or for having unrestrained passengers in the vehicle. 

“These numbers demonstrate the need for continued awareness of seat belt safety,” explains CDOT Traffic Safety Communications Manager Sam Cole. “More than half of the people killed in crashes in our state last year were not buckled up.”  

CDOT hopes these relevant and timely messages will connect with Coloradans as they hit the roads this summer.  Fatal crashes tend to spike in the summer due to increased travel volumes and the presence of more impaired drivers on roadways.  

“Getting home safely to my kids” is Shar Harting’s reason. The Castle Rock mother survived a rollover crash on I-25 near Colorado Springs last summer thanks to her seat belt. “I was on an outing with friends. We were talking and laughing. I almost didn't put my seat belt on. After the crash, all I could think about was my kids. What if I hadn't made it home to them?” 

Daniela Campbell’s seat belt saved her life when she was involved in a crash in Denver caused by a distracted driver. “I’ve always worn my seat belt. Ever since I learned to drive. Now more than ever, I won’t go anywhere without buckling my seat belt.”

Link to survivor video testimonials and crash photos https://bit.ly/Reasons21 

Coloradans can expect to see “Reasons” popping up over the next few weeks at some popular Front Range destinations, including:

  • Elitch Gardens, Denver

  • Downtown Denver

  • Shops at Centerra, Loveland

  • Downtown Greeley 

  • Riverwalk/Union Avenue Historic District, Pueblo

The campaign runs through July and will appear on billboards, radio stations, social media channels, and on CDOT’s digital message boards throughout Colorado. 

Reasons

  1. Reason #75: You scored Red Rocks tickets.

  2. Reason #135: Baseball is back.

  3. Reason #158: That vacation is so close.

  4. Reason #10: Hospital bills are expensive.

  5. Reason #96: You finally got your ex to stop texting you. 

  6. Reason #16: You *just* got the vaccine.

  7. Reason #155: You finally grew out of your awkward years.

  8. Reason #44: You have that thing next Tuesday.

  9. Reason #3: Nurses are busy enough.

  10. Reason #84: You finally paid off your student loans.

  11. Reason #7: Your dog would miss you.

  12. Reason #96: You're not out of dad jokes yet.

  13. Reason #21: "Be right back" shouldn't be your last words.

  14. Reason #11: A windshield is something nobody should go through.

  15. Reason #29: Human projectiles rarely live to tell their story.

  16. Reason #8: You're halfway through season 3 of your new favorite show.

Stencil Messages

  1. Reason #135: Baseball is back.

  2. Reason #16: You just got the vaccine.

  3. Reason #158: That vacation is so close. 

  4. Reason #7:  Your dog would miss you. 

  5. Reason #71: You just tested the limits of gravity (for Elitch Gardens)

Key Figures

  • Each year, hundreds of unbuckled injuries and fatalities occur on Colorado roads. With an average 120,000 crashes each year, there is a 1 in 33 chance that you will be in a car crash. 

  • Colorado seat belt use is relatively stagnant over the past three years, and at 86.3 % continues to lag behind the national average of 90%. This is a decrease from 88.3% in 2019.

  • In 2020, 203 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in crashes in the state, accounting for more than half of the 365 total passenger vehicle deaths.

  • In 2020, four of the six counties with the lowest seat belt use in Colorado were rural.

  • Drivers are less likely to wear seat belts on local roads, and while driving at lower speeds. 

  • Regular seat best use reduces the chance of injury in a crash by 50%.

Link to seat belt safety data: https://www.codot.gov/safety/traffic-safety-reporting-portal

Link to campaign materials and videos: https://bit.ly/Reasons21

Colorado Seat Belt Laws

  • Adults — Colorado has a secondary enforcement law for adult drivers and front-seat passengers. Drivers can be ticketed for violating the seat belt law if they are stopped for another traffic violation.

  • Teens — Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) law requires all drivers under 18 and their passengers, regardless of their age, to wear seat belts. This is a primary enforcement, meaning teens can be pulled over simply for not wearing a seat belt or having passengers without seat belts.

  • Children — Colorado's Child Passenger Safety law is a primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child under age 16 in the vehicle. 

Fines for not buckling up in Colorado start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.