Monday began a campaign titled “Click It or Ticket Mobilization”
on CSU campus and other police agencies nationwide.
The two-week campaign, which runs from Nov. 17 to Nov. 30, and
then again for two weeks in May, involves more than 12,000
nationwide law enforcement agencies, according to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA.
From this campaign to Colorado’s current seatbelt laws, students
and other citizens face danger and fines for failure to
“It is basically a two-week period where hundreds of law
enforcement officials step-up enforcement during those periods,”
said Jennifer Tolchin, an intern for the Air Bag and Seat Belt
Safety Campaign in Georgetown, D.C. “During these periods police
are actually going to be giving you a ticket for not wearing a
seatbelt instead of a warning.”
On Monday, three seatbelt citations and four warnings were given
by the CSU Police Department. Determining whether or not a violator
receives a ticket or a warning is entirely up to individual officer
discretion, said CSUPD Capt. Bob Chaffee.
If a seatbelt violation ticket is run through the Fort Collins
Municipal Court the standard fine is $25.
“If someone is pulled over for going five or six miles over the
speed limit and they receive a warning, they are also likely to
receive a warning if they aren’t wearing a seatbelt,” Chaffee said.
“However, if they’re given a ticket for something like careless
driving they are likely to also receive a ticket for a not wearing
Since Colorado is a “secondary seatbelt law” state, drivers
cannot be ticketed for a seatbelt violation unless they are pulled
over for a different initial violation. Although it is against the
law in Colorado for a driver or front-seat passenger not to wear a
seatbelt, that violation alone cannot trigger being contacted by a
police officer. In “primary seatbelt law” states drivers can be
contacted strictly for failure to wear a seatbelt.
“Personally I really believe in the primary law. You may be the
greatest driver in the world but what about the drunk driver?” said
Barbara Bailey, injury and prevention specialist for the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment. “Buckling-up just
reduces your chance of being hurt in an accident.”
In Colorado in 2002, 357 estimated lives were lost due to the
absence of a primary law according to The National Safety Council’s
Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign. Out of teen fatalities in
Colorado 63 out of the total 84 were from unrestrained victims.
Unrestrained adult fatalities account for 296 of the total 457.
Fort Collins Police Services is also participating in the
nationwide campaign through a grant they were awarded from the
Colorado Transportation Department.
“We have $3,000 used for funding overtime enforcement of
Colorado’s seatbelt law for children and the secondary seatbelt
law,” said Rita Davis, press information officer for Fort Collins
Police Services. The grant is good Nov. 17 through the first of
For Abby Fledderjohn, CSU junior, technical journalism major,
buckling-up isn’t to avoid fines, but just common sense.
“I wear one every time I get in a car, it’s just habit for me,”
Fledderjohn said. “I pick on people that don’t. Why would you