EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The annual ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign will be coming to El Paso, Texas to remind all residents to take the extra few seconds to buckle their seatbelts the next time they get into a car as the driver or passenger.

In 2022, there were 39 motor vehicle traffic crashes in the El Paso District (6 counties) in which unrestrained occupants sustained fatal or serious injuries. These crashes resulted in 18 fatalities and 25 serious injuries. In El Paso, there were 23 motor vehicle traffic crashes in which unrestrained occupants resulted in 7 fatalities and 19 serious injuries, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

“It’s critical for everyone to take just a few seconds to buckle up, every ride, every time,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important precautions motorists and their passengers can take to protect themselves in a crash. Whatever reason you may have for not buckling up, I promise it’s not worth your life.”

While more than 90% of Texans make the right choice to wear a seat belt, that still means 10% of Texans make the dangerous choice to stay unprotected on the road. TxDOT’s goal is to get 100% of drivers and passengers to wear their seatbelts 100% of the time.

From May 22 through June 4, including Memorial Day Weekend, law enforcement from around the state will be working overtime ticketing motorists who are not buckled up. State law requires that every person in a vehicle be secured by a seat belt whether riding in the front or back seat. Children younger than 8 years must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Fines and court costs for failing to fasten seat belts or safely secure children can add up to $250 or more.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the Click It or Ticket initiative has saved more than 7,399 lives, prevented more than 120,000 serious injuries, and resulted in $28.5 billion in economic savings since its inception in 2002.

“Click It or Ticket” pickup truck suspended in midair to demonstrate holding power of seat belts. Photo: TxDOT

What factors impact seat belt use?

  • Vehicle type:

○ Drivers of pickup trucks are less likely to wear a seatbelt than drivers of passenger vehicles.

○ A 2022 observational study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute Center found that 87.6% of front-seat pickup occupants use seat belts, compared to 91.3% of front-seat passenger car occupants.

● Time of day: ○ In 2022, of all crashes in Texas where people died and weren’t wearing a seat belt, 59% occurred at night or during early morning hours (6 p.m.– 5:59 a.m.)

TxDOT’s Click It or Ticket campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 30, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Tom Lea Park 900 Rim Road

WHAT: TxDOT officials, safety advocates, and law enforcement officers will gather in front of an eye-catching backdrop of a pickup truck dangling from seat belt material, reminding everyone to Click It or Ticket.