Through June 6 as part of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign launched by the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas drivers not properly secured in the front or back seat may face fines and fees up to $200. Additionally, children younger than 8 years old must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat until they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Drivers face fines up to $250 if they are not secured.
“This past year we have all been reminded of the simple acts we can take to protect our lives and those of our loved ones,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass in a May 18 news release. “Wearing a seat belt is the most important step we can take to protect ourselves from serious injury or even death in a traffic crash. Instead of putting yourself and others in danger, remember: Buckle up day and night, every rider, every ride.”
The campaign comes after a 2020 that saw a 16% increase in deaths of unbuckled motorists, with 1,073 fatalities in 2020 compared to 926 fatalities the year prior, according to the news release.
In addition, pickup truck drivers continue to lag in seat belt use, as close to half of all pickup drivers killed in crashes last year in Texas were not wearing a seat belt.
It is estimated that the Click It or Ticket initiative has saved more than 6,000 lives from 2002-2019, prevented more than 100,000 serious injuries, and resulted in $23.6 billion in economic savings, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The campaign is a component of #EndTheStreakTX, a social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel.
November 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.