Texas Seat Belt ‘Click It or Ticket' Push Begins

No excuses — wear your seat belt.

Texas is part of the 13th annual "Click It or Ticket" safety effort to make sure travelers buckle up. The campaign, which began Monday and runs through June 1, means law enforcement officers are ready to ticket anyone not using a seat belt.

Texas is in the Top 20 when it comes to seatbelt use according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in fact the state is at No. 19.

When the campaign started, TxDot said 76 percent of Texans were wearing seatbelts. Today, 9 of 10 people wear a seatbelt in Texas.

Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to wear a seat belt.

A Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson said the campaign starts this time of year because it’s when people take vacations and move. According to TxDOT, about 1,100 people move to Texas every day.

The stepped-up enforcement effort includes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Transportation and sheriff's offices statewide.

"Well, seatbelts save lives. What we're trying to do this Memorial Day weekend and the days leading up to this is remind people to put on your seatbelt, it will save your life,  and if you don't you're going to get a ticket." said David Friedman, acting administrator of the NHTSA.

Administration figures show wearing a seat belt increases your chances of surviving a serious crash by 45 percent.

Also, wearing a seatbelt in a pick-up truck can increase your chances of survival by 60 percent according to TxDOT, because a pick-up truck is more likely to roll over in an accident and the person will be thrown from the truck.

Officials said Texas had 3,371 traffic fatalities last year. About 1,500 of those motorists were not buckled up.

More: TexasClickItorTicket.com

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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