Authorities have announced plans to step up their efforts over the Memorial Day Weekend tin ensure that drivers remain safer behind the wheel. Police departments across the state of Texas will be running the “Click It or Ticket” campaign which will run May 23 – June 5.
The number of fatalities in the state was 900 that were not wearing their seatbelt while 1,800 more were seriously injured in 2,370 vehicle crashes in 2015.
“With Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation approaching, we’re urging people to buckle their seatbelts every time they get in their vehicle,” said James Bass, executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation.
According to Texas law, seatbelts are required for the driver and all passengers in a vehicle. Children aged 8 and younger must be in an appropriate booster seat until they are 4’ 9” tall. There are fines for violations of the seat belt and restraint laws as well as court costs which can be as high as $200.
Bass said that everyone in a vehicle is required to buckle up. “Not only is it the law, but seat belts save lives,” he said.
The success of any public awareness campaign can be measured in how much the public takes it to heart. In 2002, when the Click It or Ticket Campaign began, just 76 of Texans used a seat belt. That level of usage has gone up markedly since then with some 9 out of 10 drivers utilizing the seatbelt in their vehicles. That has led to a decrease in an estimated 4,687 fewer traffic fatalities.
The data has been clear for decades – that wearing a seat belt helps to save lives. Restraints help keep occupants from being ejected from a vehicle during a crash and they can increase the likelihood of survival as much as by 45 percent in a passenger vehicle and as much as 60 percent in a pickup truck.
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