Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - June 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Law Enforcement to Write Safety Belt Tickets
Houston County Courier - June 2008
The Texas Department of Transportation kicked off its seventh annual statewide Click It or Ticket campaign with a stern reminder to Texas motorists: if you haven’t gotten into the habit of buckling up, it can cost you a fine of up to $200.
Thousands of state troopers, police officers and sheriff’s deputies were on Texas streets and highways between May 19 and June 1, issuing citations to drivers who buckled up and whose children were not properly restrained.
While more than 92 percent of Texas drivers buckle up, passengers are lagging behind when it comes to using safety belts.
According to the Texas Transportation Institute, only 87 percent of passengers in Texas use a safety belt, and that number dips to 79 percent when evaluating pickup truck passengers.
“Since pickups are twice as likely as passenger vehicles to roll over in a fatal crash, we worry about the safety of people who don’t take the simple precaution of buckling up when they’re in a truck,” said Carlos Lopez, TxDOT’s Traffic Operations Director.
“Wearing a safety belt reduces the risks of dying in a pickup rollover crash by as much as 80 percent.”
Safety advocates report that drivers and passengers who buckle up have a 50 percent better chance of surviving serious traffic collisions and avoiding serious injuries.
Since the Click It or Ticket campaign was first launched in Texas in 2002, there have been an estimated 1,600 fewer traffic fatalities in Texas and 37,000 fewer injuries as a result of increased safety belt use.
“The simple act of buckling up is the easiest, least expensive and most effective way to prevent traffic deaths and injuries,” said Lopez. “It also can keep you from getting a ticket.”