AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Transportation launched its 11th Annual Click It or Ticket safety campaign on Tuesday, where they statewide law enforcement will work overtime ticketing motorists not wearing a seatbelt.
State law now requires that every person in a vehicle be secured by a seat belt whether riding in the front or back seat. Fines and court costs for failing to fasten seat belts can add up to $250 or more.
“Not wearing a seat belt will definitely cost you,” said Carol Rawson, TxDOT’s Traffic Operations division director. “Sadly, sometimes people pay with their lives. No matter what you drive or where you are going, buckling up is the smart decision.”
Pickups account for one in four registered vehicles in Texas, and are twice as likely to roll in a crash. But, seat belt use among pickup drivers and passengers continues to lag. Ninety-one percent of pickup drivers buckle up compared to 95 percent of other drivers. And, only 80 percent of truck passengers use seat belts compared to 92 percent of passengers in other vehicles.
In 2011, more than 3,000 people died in fatal collisions on Texas streets and highways, and almost half were not buckled up. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent for car occupants and 60 percent for light-truck occupants.