seat belt seatbelt driving driver

Law enforcement from across the state issued nearly 900 citations to drivers for not wearing their seat belts during a week-long enforcement campaign earlier this year. 

Twenty-four of the 871 drivers who failed to buckle up were ticketed for failing to properly restrain children in car seats during the campaign, which ran July 31 through Aug. 6, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. 

"We can confidently say that seatbelts are your best defense against aggressive, impaired and distracted drivers," said Colorado State Patrol Chief Matthew Packard in a release. "Seat belts keep you inside your vehicle and increase your odds of surviving a crash."

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department issued the most seat belt violations with 167. The Greeley Police Department was the only other agency to cite more than 100 people, while the state patrol and Colorado Springs Police Department cited at least 80 individuals, officials said.

Even though nearly 900 drivers received citations, the number dropped by more than half when compared to May's two-week enforcement period, according to the news release from the state transportation department.

Although the number of citations are down, Colorado's seat belt rate remains 4% below the national average of 90%. However, since 2013, the seatbelt rate has increased in the Centennial State by 7%, officials said. 

Last year, 203 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in car crashes across the state, which is more than half of Colorado's 365 vehicle deaths, according to a release from the department of transportation.

Fines for not buckling up in Colorado begin at $65 and parents or caregivers who fail to properly restrain children can receive a minimum fine of $82, according to the release.