TEXAS, USA — The Texas Department of Transportation's "Click It or Ticket" campaign is back from May 24 to June 6. The campaign is urging motorists to follow seat belt safety laws and properly buckle up.
"Safety is the number one priority at TXDOT and we work hard everyday to build and maintain the best and safest highway system in the nation. We also work and conduct campaigns like click it or ticket in order to urge motorists to take personal responsibility for the safety and to be smart and careful drivers and passengers," says James Bass, TXDOT Executive Director.
According to TXDOT, last year in 2020, there was a 16% increase in deaths, resulting in 1,073 fatalities due to people not wearing their seat belts. There were 92 vehicle crashes in the Midland-Odessa area, 42 of those resulting in fatalities and 79 injured.
Click It or Ticket serves two purposes:
"The number one reason to buckle up and wear your seatbelt is because it can save your life. By keeping you from being ejected from your vehicle or being banged around inside your vehicle if you're involved in a traffic crash.
Second, buckling up can prevent you from getting an expensive ticket. An important thing to remember is that click it or ticket campaign is not about handing out tickets it's really about saving lives and preventing serious injuries," says Bass.
Texas legislation requires everyone to be buckled up or you could face fines up to $200. If a child under the age of eight is not in a safety seat or booster seat, the driver can face up to fines of $250.
Officials also say the time when more people aren't wearing their seat belts is at night, "an alarming number of motorists aren’t using their seatbelts at night even though it’s the most dangerous time to be on the road, of all the crashes where people have died and weren’t wearing a seatbelt. 59% of those occurred at night," says Bass.
This reasoning behind this campaign being reinforced is because taking a few seconds to put on your seat belt could save your life.
"Click it or ticket is very important because Texans are still needlessly suffering serious injuries and dying In traffic crashes because they’re not buckled up. In fact, Texas has not seen a deathless day on our roadways since November 7th of the year 2000. We need everybody’s help to end the streak."
"I encourage everyone to do their part, take just a few seconds to buckle up in order that you and all your passengers can get home safely," says Bass.
On Tuesday, May 25th at 10:30am, at the Petroleum Museum, there will be 17-foot-tall Click It or Ticket message board reminding drivers to buckle up.