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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Texas Click It Or Ticket Campaign Marks 20th Anniversary

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Sgt Maria Montalvo, with Texas DPS speaking about enforcement efforts.Courtesy Image
Sgt Maria Montalvo, with Texas DPS speaking about enforcement efforts.Courtesy Image

Texas Border Business

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AUSTIN, Texas The local launch of TxDOT’s 20th Annual Click It Or Ticket campaign happened this past Thursday morning, at Space X. Members of law enforcement from across the Valley joined the kick-off with local speakers who reminded everyone that failing to buckle up could cost you an expensive fine or even your life. Stepped up enforcement of Click It Or Ticket will occur between May 23 and June 5.

Darcey Goodloe was a Waco high school student in 2010 when her truck was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. Her truck shot across multiple lanes on icy I-35 and into a median, where it landed vertically, face down. She was wearing her seat belt and survived with just a few scratches.

In the years since her crash, Goodloe has graduated from Texas Tech, become a kindergarten teacher, gotten married, and is now expecting her first child (a boy!)—none of which may have happened had she not chosen to buckle up that morning.

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“Since its launch in 2002, the Texas Click It or Ticket campaign has saved nearly 7,000 lives,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done over the decades and the countless hours put in by our law enforcement partners. But there are still far too many preventable deaths on Texas roads. 

TxDOT Pharr District Engineer Pedro “Pete” Alvarez, P.E., gives an overview of the Click It Or Ticket Campaign. Courtesy Image

From May 23 through June 5, Texas officers and deputies will step up enforcement of the state’s seat belt and child car seat laws. Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be properly secured in the front or back seat or face 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 feet 9 inches. If a child isn’t secured, the driver faces fines of up to $250.

Unfortunately, an average of 1 in 10 Texans is still not buckling up, and 1,226 people died in 2021 in unrestrained crashes, a 14% increase from the previous year. Putting on a seat belt takes only a few seconds, and doing so 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. Even so, pickup truck drivers and passengers continue to lag in seat belt use, and the number of unbelted pickup truck drivers killed in Texas traffic crashes increased 20% last year. That’s why TxDOT is reminding everyone—whether traveling during the day or at night, a short or long distance, or as a driver or a passenger—that wearing a seat belt remains the single most effective way to protect themselves from serious injury or death in a crash and it’s the law.

From 2002 to 2021, the Click It or Ticket initiative in Texas is estimated to have saved 6,972 lives, prevented 120,000 serious injuries, and resulted in $26.3 billion in economic savings, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

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The 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 such as wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. November 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.

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