Occupant Protection in El Paso County
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 15% of the United States population lives in rural areas but 50% of motor vehicle fatalities occur in these rural areas. This is a statistic that must be and can be changed through education, enforcement and engineering. One of the most important educational messages that will have the greatest impact in this staggering statistic is that seat belt use saves lives.
In 2009, with funding support from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), a local DRIVE SMART traffic safety education coalition was created to address this issue. Between the efforts of law enforcement and coalition members educating county residents on the importance of seat belt use, and proper use of child safety seats, rural attitudes about seat belts are changing and use rates are increasing.
El Paso County seat belt use, with observations conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation, has increased 85% in 2010 to 92.5% in 2015. The Colorado seat belt use rate in 2015 was 85%.
Please watch for your DRIVE SMART’s traffic safety educational efforts in the local newspaper, health and safety events, car seat check up events and efforts through the local schools.
If you are interested in the DRIVE SMART Coalition, please call 719-444-7534.