Law enforcement officers to target seatbelt violators

Officers from all area law enforcement agencies on Monday will be on the lookout for drivers and young passengers not wearing seatbelts or restraints.

The Click It or Ticket program will run all next week, heading into the Memorial Day weekend.

Colorado State Patrol troopers, Moffat County Sheriff's Office deputies and Craig police officers will be enforcing a zero tolerance policy for drivers traveling with children who are not buckled in or in a car seat.

The campaign is an effort to educate drivers and passengers about the importance of seatbelts and to help save lives.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, failure to buckle up contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic-safety related behavior.

Safety belt use was only at 72.8 percent in 2000.

Part of the program is to alert the public that the campaign will begin Monday.

"We want to be fair about this, which is why we're talking about it in the media," state patrol Trooper Brad Keadle said.

"The real point to Click It or Ticket isn't writing the tickets, it's getting drivers, passengers and kids to wear their seatbelts and to be aware of driving safety issues. If writing a ticket or the threat of a ticket gets that done, that's what needs to be done to make it happen."

The Moffat County Sheriff's Office has jurisdiction in all of Moffat County, including the city of Craig, and the campaign will be enforced countywide.

"Kids, especially small kids, need to be in a car seat or strapped in," Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead said. "There will be zero tolerance for failure to use child seats or seatbelts."

Grinstead said no extra patrols are being added for the Click It or Ticket campaign.

Adult drivers traveling alone may be issued a warning instead of

a ticket for failing to use a seatbelt.

The problem of not having children properly secured is one that needs addressing, Keadle said.

"I dropped two of my kids off at school (Tuesday) morning, and I saw five cars go by where the kids weren't secured," he said.

"Work like this I enjoy I will be there Monday morning and just wave people over, line them up and write tickets. I don't care how long it takes, if you don't have your kids secured, you will get a ticket. This is something people have to learn to do everyday because we see way too much of kids and teenage drivers being killed because they are not buckled up."

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