4 things to know about TxDOT’s Click It or Ticket campaign

The Texas Department of Transportation's 15th annual Click It or Ticket campaign is May 22-June 4.

The Texas Department of Transportation's 15th annual Click It or Ticket campaign is May 22-June 4.

This month, the Texas Department of Transportation commemorates the 15th anniversary of its Click It or Ticket campaign that encourages seat belt use.

“Wearing a seat belt is the single most important step you can take to protect yourself in a crash, and in Texas, it’s the law,” TxDOT Executive Director James Bass said in a news release. “People make a lot of excuses for not buckling up, but those excuses will not save your life or prevent you from getting a ticket. The fact is, it only takes a few seconds to buckle up, and it could mean the difference between life and death.”

TxDOT’s annual Click It or Ticket campaign effort runs from May 22-June 4, when law enforcement throughout the state will be increasing efforts to enforce the seat belt law and ticket people who have not buckled up.

Here are four things to know about TxDOT's Click It or Ticket campaign:

1. The campaign helps reduce traffic fatalities and injuries.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the campaign has helped save 5,068 lives and prevented 86,359 serious injuries since its inception in 2002. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a traffic incident by 45 percent in the front seat of vehicles and by 60 percent for people in pickup trucks, according to the NHTSA.

2. However, the number of traffic deaths of people not wearing seat belts has increased.

In 2016, 994 people died when not wearing a seat belt in traffic incidents, a 9 percent increase from 2015, according to TxDOT.

3. Seat belt use has increased since 2002.

The number of Texans who report using a seat belt has increased from 76 to 92 percent, according to TxDOT. Most injuries and deaths from incidents in which people were not wearing seat belts occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

4. Fines for not wearing a seat belt vary by county.

In Travis County the fine and court fee for not wearing a seat belt for passengers age 15 and older is $157. For passengers younger than 15, the fine and fee is $257. For children younger than 8, the fine and fee for not being in a safety seat is $137 on the first offense and $257 on the second offense.

In Williamson County the fine and fee for passengers age 17 and older for not wearing a seat belt is $237. The fine and fee is $247 for unrestrained children younger than 17.

In Hays County fines vary by city. In Buda, fines are $197 for adults and $122 for children. In Kyle the fines are $199 for an adult seat belt violation and $197 for a child seat belt violation. Additional court fees will also be charged.
By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and later senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels.



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