HOUSTON -- The simple, law-abiding habit of wearing a seat belt can protect thousands of Texans from serious injury or death. Yet, many people still refuse. For them, the Texas Department of Transportation is launching its 14th annual statewide "Click It or Ticket" campaign to augment the federal, stepped-up enforcement period, May 18-31.
"It's heartbreaking to know lives are being lost on Texas roadways because people are still not buckling up," said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. "These motorists have friends and families who will never get over the loss of their loved one. It's really simple. Seat belts save lives. Every single individual in a vehicle needs to be buckled up."
If the deadly consequences aren't enough to motivate seat belt use, fines and court costs can total up to $200. In Texas, the law requires everyone in a vehicle to be buckled up, including back seat passengers.
In 2014, 2,587 motor vehicle traffic crashes occurred in Texas in which unrestrained vehicle occupants sustained fatal or serious injuries. Wearing a seat belt helps keep occupants from being ejected in a crash and increases the chances of surviving by 45 percent. In pickup trucks, that number jumps to 60 percent, as those vehicles are twice as likely as cars to roll over in a crash.
Read more from the West University Examiner, a Houston Community Newspaper partner
'Click it or ticket' campaign warns Texans of deadly consequences of not buckling up
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