More than 1,300 citations issued in seat belt enforcement in rural counties

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation said 1,306 citations were issued for unbuckled passengers and drivers during a seat belt crackdown in rural counties across the state.

Dozens of the unbuckled passengers were children during the enforcement from March 27 to April 2.

The heightened seat belt enforcement was conducted by CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies.

In all, 57 agencies participated in the campaign. CDOT said unbuckled passengers accounted for nearly half of the passenger vehicle traffic deaths in Colorado in 2016.

The 1,306 citations issued during this year’s enforcement was down from the 1,605 issued during the same period last year.

This year, 69 drivers were ticketed for not buckling children younger than 16 years old. That included 18 toddlers not in car seats, 24 children not in booster seats and 27 children not wearing seat belts.

Fines for not buckling up start at $65 and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.