For the past three years, traffic fatalities in Colorado have surged nearly 25 percent. Some believe that many of these fatalities can be prevented with tougher seatbelt laws.
Colorado is one of 15 states with a secondary offense, rather than a primary offense, seatbelt law. That means law enforcement officers can only ticket drivers or passengers for failing to use a seatbelt if they had already been pulled over for some other driving violation, such as speeding. One exception to this is when children are not properly restrained, which is a primary offense that calls for higher fines.
That could change this year, however, with a recently proposed senate bill proposing to make the seatbelt law a primary offense in Colorado. The bill also seeks to require all passengers in private vehicles, including all backseat passengers, to buckle up.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) supports this bill, noting that the stricter laws are “necessary.” The increase in traffic accidents has been noticed by all Coloradans amid the increase in general traffic and traffic delays, as well as in the rise of automobile insurance costs.
While evidence of a failure to comply with the seatbelt law could be used against a driver or passenger when claiming damages after a traffic accident, they are not a complete bar to a recovery. Such mitigation of damages is typically limited to awards for pain and suffering.
So, if you ever believe that you may be entitled to some recovery as the result of a traffic accident, even if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, Bell & Pollock, P.C.’s personal injury lawyers are here to help!
If you have been in any type of auto accident, give the experienced attorneys at Bell & Pollock the opportunity to review your case and offer a legal game plan. We can steer you through the rough legal potholes so that you are fully compensated for your losses and injuries. Contact us today to find out more about your recovery options.