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TxDOT kicks off 10th annual 'Click It or Ticket' campaign

By Gheni_Platenburg
May 26, 2011 at 12:26 a.m.


WHO'S NOT BUCKLING?

While Texas has made great strides in seatbelt use over the past decade, there are still Texas motorists who have yet to get into the habit of always buckling up:

Pickup truck drivers and passengers are less likely to buckle up than motorists in cars.

Men use seatbelts less often than women.

Lubbock (88.6%), Corpus Christi (91.5%), and El Paso (91.4%) had the lowest seatbelt usage rates recorded in a 2010 survey of 10 major Texas cities.

Good reasons to buckle up in the back

Riders in the back seat who use lap and shoulder belts are more likely to survive in a crash than unrestrained occupants.

Unbelted backseat passengers can become projectiles in a car crash: They can be tossed around inside the vehicle and even can injure or kill those in the front seat.

SEATBELT FACTS

In 2009, 43 percent of Texans killed in crashes were not wearing their seat belts in a motor vehicle, where applicable.

Of the 814,403 Texans involved in crashes where there were no injuries, 98 percent were wearing their seat belt. Texas Department of Transportation 2011

One of every two pickup drivers killed in traffic crashes were not buckled up.

Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent, and in pickups, that number increases to 60 percent, because pickup trucks are more likely to roll over in a crash than passenger cars.

Source: www.texasclickitorticket.com

The Texas Department of Transportation is kicking off its 10th annual "Click It or Ticket" seat belt awareness campaign just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The campaign, which runs May 23 through June 5, seeks to reduce the number of traffic fatalities as result of drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelts or not properly buckling up their children.

This year, state officials have set a goal of raising the state's seatbelt usage rate to 94 percent, up from 93.84 percent in 2010 - the highest seatbelt usage rate ever.

Texas law requires children under the age of eight and under 4 feet 9 inches tall to be secured in an approved child safety seat or booster seat.

Additionally, all passengers, both in the front seat and back seat, must be wearing a seatbelt.

The fine for no-compliance is $25 to $250 plus court costs.

While the Goliad Sheriff's Office said they do plan on putting out extra patrols during the campaign, both the Victoria County Sheriff's Office and the Victoria Police Department said they will not be putting extra bodies on the street.

"We as an agency will continue to operate as usual, taking enforcement action for seatbelts and everything else we observe in the course of duty, during this upcoming period," said Victoria Traffic Safety Team Sgt. Julian Huerta.

As of Thursday evening, it was not known whether the Goliad Sheriff's Department would be setting up any checkpoints during the campaign period.

The program has yielded successful results since its inception.

In the decade since the campaign began in the Lone Star State, the percentage of Texans buckling up has gone from 76.1 percent in 2002 to 93.8 percent today, according to the Texas Transportation Institute.

This increase in seatbelt usage, has resulted in 2,843 fewer traffic fatalities, 48,000 fewer serious injuries and a savings to the state of more than $10 billion in associated costs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Despite an overall downward trend in fatalities between 2003 and 2009, traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death for those between one and 44 years of age in Texas.

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