PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) - New data shows Colorado is lagging behind the country when it comes to wearing seatbelts. Now, state troopers are cracking down on seatbelt enforcement.
Out of the state, Pueblo County is last for seat belt compliance. Pueblo County has a buckle-up rate of 74%, while the state overall averages at about 89%. The national seatbelt compliance average is 92%.
Capt. Micheal Tafoya with the Colorado State Patrol said that people tend to skip wearing seatbelts when they're driving at lower speeds - but that's still not a good idea.
“People have the mindset that if you're only driving a short distance, the risk of you being in a crash, they believe is not likely. However what we're finding is because people are traveling at short distances, they tend to not put a seatbelt on and then when the crash does occur, it's far more severe than it would have been if they had had a seat belt,” said Tafoya.
As part of their efforts to drive home the importance of seatbelt usage, CDOT showcased a rollover simulator in Pueblo on Wednesday. CDOT demonstrated with two crash test dummies that mimicked an adult and a child.
The simulator was set to represent a crash at 25 mph that showed the life-saving difference between wearing a seatbelt and not wearing one.
In addition to being life-saving, wearing a seatbelt could save you money. CSP said drivers pulled over who aren't wearing a seatbelt could face a fine.