Nationwide, Colorado ranks near the bottom for seat belt use.

During a recent Colorado law enforcement campaign officers issued 244 citations to drivers with unrestrained children in their vehicles. That's according to this weeks report from the Colorado Department of Transportation. That's up From last years similar two-week enforcement period.

Think that's crazy? It is, but what's even more shocking is that those same officers handed out nearly 5,000 tickets to drivers for not buckling up! I've shared before that I was in a serious rollover crash just over a year ago. Had I not been bucked, I would have been seriously injured, or worse. The accident was at no fault of my own. You can be the best driver on the road and still be involved in a crash. Experience and driving skill won't save you from the other guy or a mechanical malfunction which was the cause in my case.

"It only takes a second to buckle a seat belt, but the impact is major. Seat belts save lives,” so says Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “This summer and beyond, we hope Coloradans think about the effects of seat belts. Traveling in a car without a seat belt puts you at risk of never seeing your family again, ending your career and many other unfortunate circumstances. Buckle up, it’s not worth the gamble.”

If you're unsure, here's a summary of the Colorado seat belt laws: 

Adults: Colorado has a secondary enforcement law for adult drivers and front-seat passengers. Drivers can be ticketed for violating the seat belt law if they are stopped for another traffic violation.

Teens: Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing law requires all drivers under 18 and their passengers, regardless of their age, to wear seat belts. This is a primary enforcement, meaning teens can be pulled over simply for not wearing a seat belt or having passengers without seat belts.

Children: Colorado's Child Passenger Safety law is a primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child under age 16 in the vehicle.

Credit: KKTV11News