Nov 182003
Authors: Jesse McLain

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

a seatbelt.”

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





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