But, Colorado is still one of 15 states with secondary seat belt laws.
By now, anyone driving in Colorado should know that seat belts are mandatory for a car’s driver and front-seat passenger. But, did you know that Colorado is just one of 15 states with what’s called a secondary seat-belt law? This means police can write you a ticket for not being buckled up only if you’re stopped for another violation. If you’re spotted not wearing a seat belt, the police can’t stop you.
According to a news report late last year, fewer people are using seat belts in the state, which is causing more people to be killed in car accidents. So now state officials are pushing to make the seat belt law a primary offense, which means, a law enforcement officer can ticket a driver or front-seat passenger for not wearing a seat belt when no other traffic offenses have occurred.
Shailen Bhatt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation said:
We feel strongly that a primary seat belt law would make a significant difference in helping to slow the increase in fatalities that we are seeing on our roads. States that implement a primary seat belt law show a significant decrease in fatalities.
2016 a Deadly Year on Colorado Roads
Colorado ended with 607 traffic fatalities in 2016, up from 547 traffic deaths in 2015. This was despite the fact that Gov. John Hickenlooper launched a campaign in 2015 with the goal of having zero deaths on Colorado roads, yet still, nearly 15 percent of the population doesn’t buckle up. About half of the people killed in Colorado road accidents weren’t wearing seat belts.
Colorado’s Seat-Belt Laws
In case you have not read up on our current state laws, or you are a novice driver, the CDOT lists a quick overview Colorado’s seat belt laws:
- A vehicle’s driver and front-seat passengers must wear seat belts.
- Infants up to the age of 1 and children who weigh less than 20 pounds must be restrained in the back seat in a rear-facing child seat. There are no exceptions to this law.
- Children who weigh at least 20 pounds and who are more than a year old have the option of transitioning to a forward-facing child seat, though a rear-facing child seat is recommended until at least age 2, as long as parents follow weight limits set by the car seat manufacturer.
- Children ages 4-7 can use a booster seat for their child.
- While Colorado allows the use of regular seat belts for children ages 8 and older, it’s recommended that children be at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall before using them.