It’s that time of year again! Time to gather with friends and family, share a meal and count our blessings. And it’s time for TV newscasts to repeatedly remind us that the biggest brunt of holiday travel happens during Thanksgiving weekend.
The Colorado State Police want to keep the holiday safe for travelers. Despite data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing the least number of U.S. traffic fatalities in nearly 50 years last year, don’t expect any slack on traffic law enforcement. Throughout this holiday weekend, patrols from Alamosa to Colorado Springs will watch for travelers who are drinking and driving and/or not wearing seat belts.
We know the reading is as dry as little Henry’s school reenactment of the first Thanksgiving, but take just a minute before you hit the road to review Colorado state seat belt laws. And don’t forget the Child Passenger Law that went into effect less than three months ago. Here’s what you should know:
Seat Belt Law
- The driver is responsible for buckling up and ensuring that all passengers covered by the law are buckled up.
- Drivers and front seat passengers must buckle up.
- Drivers can be ticketed for failing to use seat belts only after being stopped for a separate violation.
Child Passenger Law
- Infants must ride in a rear-facing child safety seat until they are at least one year old and weight at least 20 pounds.
- Children ages one to four years old and who weigh from 20 pounds up to 40 pounds must be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat.
- Children who weigh more than 40 pounds or who are between the ages of four and six years old must be properly restrained in a child booster seat or with a child safety belt-positioning device unless they are 55 inches tall.
- Children who are at least six years old or at least 55 inches tall must be properly restrained with the motor vehicle’s safety belt.
- Drivers can be ticketed for violating this law.
If you’re traveling to, or through, other states this weekend, be sure to do some research on those other states’ seat belt laws. You’ll want arrive at the dinner table in one piece and ticket-free.
Gordon, Barkley and everyone at Heuser & Heuser LLP personal injury attorneys wishes you a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend!