State ramps up enforcement of its seat-belt law
The Colorado State Patrol and 63 law enforcement agencies across Colorado are joining the nationwide Click It or Ticket campaign by increasing enforcement of seat belt and child passenger safety laws. The ramped up enforcement lasts through Sunday, June 2. The goal is to get more Coloradans to buckle up and ultimately save lives across the state.
In 2012, 159 people who weren’t buckled up lost their lives in traffic crashes on Colorado roadways, which is down from 185 unrestrained fatalities in 2011. The Colorado Department of Transportation is focusing its public awareness campaign on male pickup truck drivers between the ages of 18 and 34, as they have the highest propensity for not wearing their seat belts. Sixty-one men between the ages of 18-34 who died in a crash were not wearing a seat belt. Pickup trucks have a seat belt usage rate of 72 percent, which is 10 percent less than the state average usage rate.
“We’ve made progress over the past year in reducing the number of people killed on Colorado roadways, but still far too many motorists aren’t buckling up,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT’s Director of Highway Safety. “The Click It or Ticket campaign gives us an opportunity to remind everyone that seat belts save lives, and that there are serious risks when people don’t buckle up.”
High-visibility enforcement such as the Click It or Ticket mobilization is credited with increase seat belt use in Colorado. Since Click It or Ticket started in 2002, seat belt use has increased from 72 percent to 82 percent in 2012. There has also been a 58 percent decline in unrestrained deaths — 380 in 2002 and 159 in 2012.
“Troopers at the Colorado State Patrol are reminded nearly every day of the needless deaths that occur when someone neglects to wear a seat belt. And we are relieved when we respond to a crash where everyone survives because they took two seconds to buckle up,” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We would much rather write a seat belt citation than a fatal crash report. That means no excuses and no warnings if you’re not buckled up.”
Deputies responded to a fight on Edwards Access Road May 4. When they arrived, they saw two men and a woman.
One of the men was 30 years old and had a T-shirt that was half-torn. He and the 26-year-old woman both had scrapes and marks on their limbs and appeared to be visibly shaken. The other 32-year-old man was the woman’s boyfriend. As the deputies separated them, the 30-year-old told the woman, “You have to help me out or I’m screwed.”
The 30-year-old told officers he was very drunk. It eventually came out that the three were taking a cab home and the 30-year-old threw something out the window. The cab driver kicked them out and they started walking home.
The 30-year-old said the next thing he knew, the woman jumped on him because she was angry about getting kicked out of the cab. He said he pushed her and she fell but he never hit her. Witnesses in a car nearby said he hit the woman in the face and head.
The woman denied anything happened. She said she fell. Officers told her they knew that wasn’t the case and she should tell the truth or face charges. She stuck with her story and was cited for disorderly conduct.
The 30-year-old was charged with disorderly conduct and assault.
An employee at a Gypsum liquor store called deputies May 9 after he saw two baggies fall out of a black car with chrome wheels when a 36-year-old, heavily tattooed man got out of the vehicle.
The employee collected the bags after the car left and he thought they contained drugs. Deputies determined the substance was heroin.
Officers found the suspect’s car on Interstate 70 and conducted a high-risk traffic stop at Bair Ranch.
The man initially denied knowing of, or having any drugs in the car. The 40-year-old female driver denied having anything in the car “as far as she knew.” Both consented to a search of the vehicle.
Deputies found three needle syringes, a baggie with a brown powdery substance, a container with several cotton swabs covered in a brown residue and a silver spoon with residue and burn marks.
The man said all the stuff was his and that it’s good he was caught because he needs help. He was arrested for possessing heroin and drug paraphernalia.
Drunken driving in construction zone
Deputies received a call about a suspected drunken driver on westbound I-70 near Eagle.
The caller said she watched a silver van hit a traffic barrel, almost hit a semi truck and then drive on the shoulder of the highway with its blinkers on. The van stopped and the caller’s husband contacted the suspect driver – he said the suspect was “on something.”
Deputies had a hard time catching up to the suspect’s van due to backed-up traffic in a construction zone, but they eventually saw the van parked in an emergency turnaround. The van took off as the officers drove up to it. The deputies followed and saw the van weave out of its lane.
They stopped the van and contacted the 59-year-old woman. She smelled of alcohol and told the officers she was going to Aspen from Denver. She agreed to perform voluntary roadside sobriety tests and failed. She was arrested for further investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol and submitted to a blood test. She went to jail for DUI and failing to stay in a single lane. The van was towed.
License plates were stolen from two cars in Gypsum May 14, on Airpark Drive and Cooley Mesa Road.
An Edwards resident on Cameron Place Road was sitting in her living room May 4 when she heard crashing glass. A window 12 feet up had shattered and popped a balloon that her children were using for a science experiment. She spotted nine teenagers hitting golf balls on the hill to the south of the home. The woman’s husband went to talk to the kids and they ran off.