AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Click It or Ticket campaign will be in full effect through the end of November in Texas.
Texas state troopers, police officers and sheriffs’ deputies will step up enforcement of the state’s seat belt and child car seat laws from Nov. 16-29 in an effort to keep Texans safe during holiday travel, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be properly secured in the front or back seat or face fines and fees up to $200. Children younger than 8 years must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If a child isn’t secured, the driver faces fines of up to $250, TxDOT says.
TxDOT officials report that there were 925 traffic fatalities involving an unbuckled driver or passenger in 2019, a 6% drop over the previous year. Although around 9% of Texans do not wear a seat belt, the lack of seat belt usage was reported in 42% of traffic fatalities for those people who had the option to use a seat belt. The stats exclude pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle fatalities.
Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying by 45% for people in the front seat of passenger cars. For those in pickups, seat belts reduce the risk of dying by 60% since pickups are more likely to roll over than passenger vehicles, TxDOT reports.
“Our annual Click It or Ticket campaign is about saving lives,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “While almost 91% of Texans have gotten into the habit of using seat belts, there are still far too many motorists who are taking unnecessary chances by not buckling up. Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, wearing a seat belt—day and night—is the single most effective way to protect yourself from serious injury or death in a crash.”