Click It or Ticket rural enforcement begins Monday
Starting this week, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and local law enforcement agencies will begin a six-day Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period targeting rural areas of Colorado. The enforcement period will run through March 31. In 2018, five of the six counties with the lowest seat belt use in Colorado were all rural, according to a CDOT study.
Colorado’s seat belt use rate is 86 percent, well below the national average of 90 percent. Last year, 215 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in crashes in the state, accounting for more than half of the 410 total passenger vehicle deaths. In 2017, an estimated 70 lives could have been saved if everyone in Colorado had buckled up.
“One of CDOT’s core values is safety, and seat belt use is crucial to keeping drivers and passengers safe on the roads,” said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “We hope the Click It or Ticket rural campaign will encourage people to buckle up, especially in areas with the most opportunity to increase usage rates and save lives.”
The March rural enforcement is the first of three Click It or Ticket enforcement periods in 2019. During the same Click It or Ticket spring enforcement last year, 1,279 seat belt citations were issued in rural communities across Colorado.
Fines for not buckling up in Colorado start at $65, and parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.
Colorado Alzheimer’s totals continue to rise
First the good news: research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s – the last major disease without a prevention, treatment or cure – is being funded at record-high levels, and there is promising research that offers hope for the future.
The other side of the coin is that more people in the United States – 5.8 million – are living with Alzheimer’s dementia today, including a record-high 73,000 Coloradans. Globally, the estimate is 47 million people, with someone new developing the disease every three seconds.
“We are definitely making progress,” said Amelia Schafer, executive director of the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “The National Institutes of Health currently has a $2.3 billion annual research budget for Alzheimer’s, up from $562 million in 2014. But until we have a cure in hand and can point to that first survivor of Alzheimer’s, we cannot rest.”
In Colorado, the total in 2025 is expected to reach 92,000 – a 26 percent increase.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released the Administration’s school resource guide for teachers, administrators and staff to help educate and protect students from substance abuse. “Getting through to students about the dangers of drug use before it’s too late can make all the difference for millions of young Americans and their families. Helping educators identify warning signs at school, teaching our children about the negative effects of drug use, and getting students struggling with substance abuse the help they need are all critical to reversing the addiction crisis for the next generation,” ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said.
Gov. Jared Polis joined legislators today to introduce full-day kindergarten legislation and highlight the $185 million set aside by the Joint Budget Committee to implement this legislation. These funds will fully fund anticipated full-day kindergarten enrollment at 1.0 this year and free up over 5,000 Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE) slots for preschool, representing the largest increase in early childhood education in the state’s history.
Mayor Michael B. Hancock and several community partners launched I Am Denver, a citywide multimedia storytelling project that engages community, gives voice to underrepresented residents, and captures Denver’s yesterday and today for tomorrow.
I Am Denver works with partners and community groups to invite residents to free Storytelling Labs across the city, where they are provided the tools to identify and record their stories. Select videos, podcasts, and photo stories are shared on city and partner platforms.