Starting today, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are teaming up to re-launching their annual “Click It or Ticket Campaign” for 2019. The campaign is seen as a way to reduce the number of drivers and passengers who are killed or seriously injured n Texas roads because they’re not buckled up in a seat belt.
Some Still Don’t Wear a Seat Belt.
It may seem hard to believe in 2019, but even now, a lot of people still don’t take the wearing of seat belts seriously at all, even though it’s one of the easiest safety steps anyone driving or riding in a car can possibly take. This, despite the fact that seat belts reduce the odds of dying in a crash involving a passenger vehicle by about 45 percent and by as much as 60 percent in a pickup truck. Those statistics are among those cited in the “Click It or Ticket Campaign” for 2019, and they should be sobering to more people.
Police all over the state have stories to share about families or other groups of people who suffered an accident in which several were ejected from their vehicle for a lack of a seat belt. They all seem to have stories of families who only lost loved ones because they never bothered to put on their seat belt. In all, last year alone, TxDOT reports that 982 died on Texas roads just because they weren’t wearing their seatbelts. That constitutes a six percent increase from 2017.
Once again, DPS and TxDOT are going to try again to raise awareness of the importance of seat belts and to replace a dangerous habit – riding in a vehicle without a restraining device – with a much better habit, of not even starting the car until everyone’s seat belt is fastened.
Seat Belts Definitely Save Lives
The statistics are crazy, especially since seatbelts have been around for more than 50 years, and because state law requires that everyone in a passenger vehicle wear one at all times. Those who don’t comply with the law face a fine and court costs of up to $200 each. That means, if you’re driving and everyone else in your family of four is unbuckled, you could pay a fine of $800. Every state in the country has a seatbelt law, and yet, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 62 percent of the occupants of passenger vehicles between the ages of 13 and 15 were not buckled in at the time of their accidents.
And in 2016, 62% of the occupants in passenger vehicles between the ages of 13-to-15 killed in traffic crashes were not wearing seat belts— the highest percentage of all age groups covered in NHTSA’s report. That is why Texas authorities will be attempting to get everyone in the family to not go anywhere without putting on and latching their seatbelt.
In addition to seat belts, children younger than 8 or shorter than 4 feet, 9 inches must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or a booster seat. Parents who fail to restrain their child face fines of up to $250 plus court costs.
The “Click It or Ticket Campaign” Started in 2002, Has Saved Many Lives
Today’s inauguration of the 2019 Texas “Click It or Ticket Campaign” will actually be part of a national campaign, which is now in its 17th year. When the campaign started in Texas in 2002, only 76 percent of vehicle passengers wore seatbelts. Now, the number is about 92 percent, and the NHTSA says the “Click It or Ticket Campaign” has saved at least 5,400 lives and prevented more than 95,000 serious injuries. In all the state of Texas has saved more than $20.7 billion in related economic costs.
Seat belts save lives, and every driver and passenger in Texas want the carnage on our roads to stop. We all have a part in this, and one of the easiest parts is to click the lock on a seat belt before the car or truck starts moving.