May 2019 marks the 17th anniversary of “Click It or Ticket,” a campaign urging Texans to buckle up. Today, more than 91% of Texas use their seatbelts compared to only 76% when the campaign launched in 2002. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates since its inception 17 years ago, “Click It or Ticket” has saved 5, 856 lives, prevented more than 100,000 serious injuries and saved Texas more than $21.7 billion in related economic costs.
Seat belts save lives. Wearing a seat belt helps keep you from being ejected in a crash and increases your chances of surviving by 45% in a passenger vehicle and up to 60% in a pickup truck. Deaths among people not wearing seat belts increased 6% from 2017 to 2018.
While more than 91% are buckling up, nearly 9% still don’t. Even fewer Texans buckle up at night. Last year, the number of drivers and front seat passengers not wearing seat belts increased by almost 40% from day to night. 60% of the 982 unbelted fatalities occurred at night. That’s why the “Click It or Ticket” campaign to remind Texans to buckle up, both day and night, is more important than ever.
Each year during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, law enforcement throughout Texas works to increase seat belt use. From May 20 to June 2, 201, they’ll ramp up enforcement efforts to ticket drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts, especially at night. Memorial Day falls in the middle of this time period and marks the traditional start of summer, when many people take to the road to enjoy the long weekend with friends and family. Be safe, buckle up.
In Texas, the law requires everyone in a vehicle to buckle up or face fines and court costs up to $200. Children younger than 8 years must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they’re taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If they aren’t properly restrained, the driver faces fines up to $250 plus court costs.
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