EAST TEXAS MOTORISTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO BUCKLE UP AS LAW ENFORCEMENT BEGINS THE “CLICK IT OR TICKET” CAMPAIGN THIS MONDAY
Crashes killed dozens in Atlanta District in 2021 because they were unrestrained.
ATLANTA – From this Monday, May 23, through Sunday, June 5, officers across Texas will step up enforcement of the state’s seat belt and child car seat laws. But, unfortunately, an average of one in ten Texans is still not buckling up.
Of the 135 traffic crash fatalities reported in the Atlanta District in 2021, being unrestrained has killed 50. Seventy-nine people were seriously injured.
In 2021, the cities of Texarkana and Atlanta each had one fatality due to vehicle occupants not being restrained and seriously injured seven in Texarkana.
“Airbags are not seat belt replacements,” said Atlanta District Engineer Buddy Williams. “They can be big lifesavers, but airbags can be ineffective and even dangerous without seat belts. Buckling up is the single most effective way to protect yourself from serious injury or death in a crash,” Williams said.
“We continue to see fewer motorists buckling up at night, and nearly 60 percent of all fatal crashes occur at night,” said Atlanta District Traffic Safety Specialist Kristy Whisenhunt. “Research shows that drivers and passengers are less likely to buckle up between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.,” she added.
Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be adequately secured in the front or back seat or face fines and fees up to $200. In addition, children younger than eight years old must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than four feet nine inches. If a child isn’t secured, the driver faces fines of up to $250.
Across Texas in 2021, 1,226 people died in unrestrained crashes, a 14 percent increase from the previous year. Pickup truck drivers and passengers continue to lag in seat belt use. As a result, the number of unbelted pickup truck drivers killed in Texas traffic crashes increased 20 percent last year.
From 2002 to 2021, the Click It or Ticket initiative in Texas is estimated to have saved 6,972 lives and prevented 120,000 serious injuries.
The “Click It or Ticket” campaign is a critical component of #EndTheStreakTX. A broader social media and word-of-mouth effort encourage 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 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.