Buckle up to save your own life: Click It or Ticket

AUSTIN – In the time it takes to read this sentence, Texans can click their seat belt and save themselves from an early grave — and save their loved ones from the sorrow of preventable loss.

While millions wear their seat belts every day as drivers or passengers, unbuckled drivers and passengers accounted for 1,183 — that’s 28% — of the more than 4,200 lives lost on Texas roads last year, and nearly half of all fatalities where someone could have worn a seat belt.

The harsh reality is that life can be ripped away from our loved ones in the blink of an eye — especially if they’re not wearing a seat belt.

“If only David had buckled up that day, he’d still be with us,” said Doreen Palestrant, the mother of a 17-year-old Kerrville high school football player who lost his life in a November 2021 rollover crash that took his life. David, who was unbuckled in the back seat, died at the scene when the pickup he was riding in rolled several times.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my son,” she said. “In my son’s memory, I encourage all Texans to always wear their seat belt, whether for a short trip around the block or a longer trip across town.”

TxDOT’s annual Click It or Ticket campaign aims to save lives by getting drivers and passengers to wear their seat belt 100% of the time.

“Buckling up is both the simplest and most effective safety decision that most of us make every day,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “No one ever expects to be in a crash, and that’s why it’s so important to always put your seat belt on every time you get in a vehicle. The one time you skip it could be the time you pay the price.”

In addition to conducting educational outreach, the campaign partners with Texas law enforcement around the state to step up enforcement of seat belt and car seat laws from May 20 through June 2, including Memorial Day weekend.

Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to buckle up or face fines and court costs up to $200. Children younger than 8 years old 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. TxDOT offers free safety seat inspections across the state.

TxDOT’s Click It or Ticket campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.

Author: KSST Webmaster

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