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. The failure to wear a seat belt cost nearly 1,000 Texas their lives last year. 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.
Kailee Mills, 16 of Spring, removed her seat belt for just a moment to take a “selfie” photo with a friend in the back seat. In that moment, the driver lost control of the vehicle and Kailee was thrown to her death. Her friends, who were buckled up, sustained only minor injuries.
David and Wendy Mills, Kailee’s parents, are traveling the state with the reenactment sculpture to urge Texans to buckle up. “We are sharing Kailee’s story in hopes that we can convince drivers and passengers of all ages to always wear their seat belts. We don’t want any other family to go through the pain and grief of losing a loved one like we have,” said David. “Kailee always wore her seat belt, but she unbuckled it for just a few seconds to take a selfie with friends, and in an instant she was gone.”
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.
Texas law enforcement officers will increase their efforts from May 20 to June 2 to ticket unbelted drivers and passengers, especially at night, as part of the Click It or Ticket initiative.
The Click It or Ticket campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader grassroots effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel. Since November 8, 2000, at least one person has died on Texas roadways every single day