Jefferson County, Colorado ? Wear your seat belt or be prepared to face the consequences, Colorado. That?s the message the Jefferson County Sheriff?s Office will be sending this month through a special enforcement campaign aimed at saving more lives by buckling down on all Colorado motorists not buckled up ? especially teens.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teenage drivers and passengers are among those least likely to wear their seat belts. Nationally in 2006, 4,842 teen passenger vehicle occupants, ages 16 to 20, were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and 58 percent (2,813) were unrestrained at the time of the fatal crash. In Colorado, 72 drivers and passengers, ages 16 to 20, were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2006, and 68% (49 teens) were not buckled up at the time of the fatal crash.
As we ring in the New Year, the Sheriff?s Office will join with other Colorado law enforcement agencies to step up seat belt enforcement efforts January 14-20 with increased saturation patrols and enforcement zones to help ensure that more people ? especially teens ? always wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
?Too many drivers and passengers still take the attitude that a bad car crash will never happen to them, but the truth is, serious crashes can and do happen all the time and the failure to buckle up can be fatal,? Sheriff Mink said. ?That?s why we?re going to be out in force showing zero tolerance and making sure drivers and passengers of all ages are always buckling up?day and night.?
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and to reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Nationally, of the passenger vehicle occupants involved in a fatal crash in 2006, the 72 percent that were restrained survived the crash.
Unfortunately too many Colorado motorists still need a tough reminder that wearing a seat belt is the absolute best way to protect themselves and their passengers during a motor vehicle crash, so officers are going to be out in force buckling down on those who are not buckled up.
For more information on ?Click It or Ticket,? visit www.nhtsa.gov/link/ciot.htm and www.COteendriver.com.