Colorado Legislative Council Staff



(replaces fiscal impact dated January 19, 1999)

Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0276

Rep. Gotlieb

Sen. Arnold


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

March 8, 1999

Senate Transportation

Kirk Mlinek (303-866-4784)



Fiscal Impact Summary

FY 1999/2000

FY 2000/2001

State Revenues

Cash Fund-- Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF)

Increased Fine Revenue

Increased Fine Revenue

State Expenditures

General Fund



FTE Position Change

0.0 FTE

0.0 FTE

Other State Impact: TABOR

Effective Date: July 1, 1999

Appropriation Summary for FY 1999-2000: None.

Local Government Impact: Increased local government fines from traffic citations (See Local Government Impact Section).

Summary of Legislation

            The reengrossed version of the bill makes it a primary offense, after December 1, 1999, for a driver to operate a motor vehicle unless the driver and all front seat passengers are wearing fastened safety belts. Failure of a driver or a front seat passenger to wear a fastened safety belt shall not constitute probable cause for a law enforcement officer to arrest the driver or passenger or to conduct a search of the motor vehicle, driver, or passenger. Violations will be Class B traffic infractions.

            The bill also requires that on or before February 1, 2004, the Transportation and Energy Committee of the House and the Transportation Committee of the Senate shall review the effectiveness of the primary enforcement of safety belts. Said review is to include, but not be limited to, a review of the general rate filings submitted to the Commissioner of Insurance by insurers. If either committee finds that the primary enforcement of safety belts under this section has been ineffective, then a bill may be introduced to reenact the secondary enforcement of safety belts.

State Revenues

            Under current law, peace officers can issue seat belt violations as a secondary offense. Section 42-4-1701 (4)(a)(I) establishes the penalty of a $15 fine and a $2 surcharge for persons who violate the safety belt law. During the period July 1, 1999, to December 1, 1999, persons stopped for alleged violations of articles 1 through 4 of the section and other than for a violation of subsection (2), may be issued a warning notice of violation of the safety belt requirement.

            The increased number of traffic citations issued by the Colorado State Patrol and local peace officers in county court as primary offenses that would not have been issued as a secondary offense is not known. However, any fines collected from the convictions would be deposited into the Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF). It is estimated that the increase would be minimal. The $2.00 surcharge also collected on this fine would go to the Victims and Witnesses Assistance and Law Enforcement Fund in each judicial district.

State Expenditures

            The number of additional citations issued is estimated to be minimal. The Department of Revenue could process approximately 59,280 citations without adding additional FTE. The number of citations issued under this provision would not be expected to increase to an amount that will require additional FTE.

Local Government Impact

            Local governments would receive additional revenues from the new revenues deposited into the HUTF. In addition, any citation issued by a peace officer and filed in a municipal court which results in a conviction and a fine would increase revenue to the local government.

Spending Authority

            This fiscal note implies that no additional spending authority or appropriations would be required in FY 1999-00 to implement the provisions of the bill.

Departments Contacted


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