Click It or Ticket campaign targeting unbuckled drivers - May 17, 2013
“Tickets available for Every Seat.”
CENTER, Texas — The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Center Police Department today are reminding motorists that there are “Tickets available for Every Seat” – in a vehicle. That with the kick off the 12th annual Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign at a news conference at the Center Law Enforcement Complex.
At about 94 percent compliance, Texas ranks in the Top 10 states in the nation for seat belt use, but some drivers and passengers still are not getting the message. Motorists in rural areas, teens and pickup truck drivers and their passengers continue to lag behind when it comes to buckling up.
“We’ve come a long way since seat belts were first required 45 years ago, and the 2002 launch of the Click It or Ticket public education program,” said Kathi White, TxDOT spokesperson. “Seat belt usage was about 76 % then but 12 years later there’s still a constant need for awareness about Texas seat belts laws. We know a seat belt can save your life but some still don’t get it.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the Click It or Ticket campaign has saved nearly 3,700 lives and prevented more than 50,000 serious injuries since its launch. In 2012 over 21,200 seat belt citations were issued during the Click It or Ticket enforcement period. Almost 4000 child passenger restraint citations were issued during last year’s enforcement period.
In an effort to reduce those numbers, from May 20 to June 2 state troopers will join police officers and sheriffs’ deputies statewide to step up enforcement of the state’s safety belt laws. The Center Police Department is one of those agencies that will be looking for unbuckled motorists.
“If you don’t buckle up yourself and every passenger in your vehicle, you’re getting a ticket,” said Chief Jim Albers of the Center Police Department. “The law requires everybody in a vehicle to wear a seat belt and police will be ticketing unbelted vehicle occupants around the clock - night and day. There are tickets available for every seat so buckle up.
All occupants of a vehicle, no matter their age, must be secured by a seat belt, no matter where they are seated in the vehicle. Unbuckled drivers and occupants could face fines up to $200. Fines are up to $250 plus court costs when children are not properly restrained.