Fort Worth, Texas – The Texas Department of Transportation will hold a press conference at the Fort Worth Stockyards on Monday to kick off its “Click it or Ticket” seatbelt education and enforcement campaign.
The event took place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 701 East Exchange Avenue on Fort Worth.
During the event, TxDOT unveiled a 17-foot-tall “Click It or Ticket” message board to remind Dallas-Fort Worth motorists to buckle up.
According to TxDOT, there were 569 motor vehicle traffic crashes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in which unrestrained occupants sustained fatal or serious injuries during 2020.
These crashes resulted in 198 fatalities and 445 serious injuries, TxDOT said.
TxDOT said putting on a seat belt reduces the risk of dying by up to 45% for people in the front seat of passenger cars and up to 60% for people in pickup trucks.
According to TxDOT, wearing a seat belt could have saved more than 2,700 people from death or serious injury in crashes on Texas roads.
Even during a pandemic and with fewer traffic crashes in Texas overall, the number of deaths of unbuckled motorists still rose by 16% last year as compared to 2019, TxDOT said.
TxDOT also said that people driving at night wear their seat belt less often, even though it’s a more dangerous time to drive. In 2020, 59% of all crashes in which unbuckled drivers or passengers died occurred at night.
TxDOT’s annual Click It or Ticket campaign reminds Texans of the safety benefits of wearing a seat belt. Texas law enforcement officers will step up their efforts from May 24 to June 6 to ticket unbelted drivers and passengers.
Texas law requires that everyone in a vehicle to be properly secured in the front or back seat. Failure to do so could result in fines and fees up to $200.
Children younger than 8 years old must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4’9″ inches. If a child isn’t secured, the driver faces fines of up to $250, TxDOT said.