Texas law enforcement officers will increase their efforts now through Sunday, June 2 to ticket drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts, especially at night, as part of the Click It or Ticket initiative.
The Texas Department of Transportation is launching its annual Click It or Ticket seat belt safety campaign to reduce the number of unrestrained drivers and passengers who are killed and seriously injured every year in traffic crashes. Seat belts protect motorists by keeping them safely within the vehicle instead of being tossed around or ejected during a crash, which is almost always deadly. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 45% in a passenger vehicle and up to 60% in a pickup truck. In 2018, there were 149 motor vehicle traffic crashes in Houston in which unrestrained occupants sustained fatal or serious injuries. These crashes resulted in 46 fatalities and 124 serious injuries.
"In total last year, there were 982 people killed in crashes who weren't wearing a seatbelt. That's nearly three people a day," said TXDOT Houston District Engineer Quincy Allen. "And, not a single day has passed since the year 2000, where we have been fatality free since November. That's 19 years of daily traffic deaths. That's a streak that has to end."
He said in 2002, about 75 percent of people were wearing seatbelts, it's now 90 percent.
"To have saved almost 6,000 lives, prevented more than 100,000 serious injuries and saved more than $22 billion in related economic losses from 2002 to 2018," said Allen.
He said people are needlessly dying or being hurt in traffic wrecks because they still aren't buckling up. And, even fewer are wearing seatbelts at night when it's the most dangerous time to be on the road.
"Last year, the majority of fatal traffic crashes in Texas happened between 6 pm and 6 am," said Allen.