Law enforcement will be cracking down on unbuckled drivers and passengers through Sunday, June 1. Motorists who don’t buckle up in compliance with state seat belt laws face fines and court costs up to $200 as stepped up enforcement gets under way this month.
“Seat belts save lives,” said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. “That’s a fact. Buckling up will keep you from getting a ticket, and more importantly, it could save your life. Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, everyone in the vehicle is required by law to wear a seat belt for every trip. The cost of not using one just isn’t worth it.”
The “Click It or Ticket” campaign is credited with motivating millions of motorists to always use their seat belts. Only 76 percent of Texans used seat belts when the campaign began in 2002. Today, nine out of 10 Texans buckle up. The National Highway Traffic Safety estimated that, since its inception, the “Click It or Ticket” campaign in Texas has resulted in 3,962 fewer traffic fatalities while preventing 66,823 serious injuries and saving more than $15 billion in related economic costs.
In 2013, there were 943 fatalities and 5,383 serious injuries in Texas resulting from crashes in which drivers or passengers were not wearing seat belts.
Wearing a seat belt increases the chances of surviving a serious crash by 45 percent. In pickup trucks, that number jumps to 60 percent as those vehicles are more likely than cars to roll over in a crash. In roll-over crashes, seat belts help keep occupants from being ejected from the vehicle.
Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be buckled up, including back seat passengers. Learn more about “Click It or Ticket” by visiting texasclickitorticket.com or contact TxDOT at 512-463-8700.