AUSTIN (KXAN) — “Seat belts save lives.” That is the message the Texas Department of Transportation is spreading during their Click it or Ticket campaign.
Drivers who fail to wear a seat belt face a fine of up to $200 or even death, according to TxDOT. Law enforcement statewide will be stepping up patrols during the campaign. TxDOT’s Kelli Reyna joined us in the KXAN studio to discuss the success of the 14-year-old program.
Last year, 889 people in Texas died because they weren’t buckled up. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over the past 14 years the campaign has saved 4,687 drivers from deadly crashes.
TxDOT says back seat passengers who buckle increase their likelihood of survival in a crash by 44 percent. Their research shows that not buckling in the back seat of a vehicle makes you a “projectile” during a crash.
“With Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season approaching, we’re urging people to buckle their seat belts every time they get in their vehicle,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Every person in a vehicle – front seat or back seat – needs to buckle up. Not only is it the law, but seat belts save lives.”
Fines rise to $250 for parents who do not put children younger than eight or under 4’9″ tall in a booster seat. Find out which car seat is your right for your child here.
The campaign runs until June 5.