With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, the Texas Department of Transportation “Click It or Ticket” campaign began Monday and ends June 2.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3,700 lives have been saved and 50,000 crashes prevented since the campaign’s inception in 2002.
Unbuckled drivers and passengers could be ticketed and fined up to $200.
“You always have those folks that say 'It wrinkles my clothes, it's just too confining, it's not comfortable, I'm not going very far, I'm not on the interstate or I am on the interstate,’” Trooper Sparky Dean with the Texas Department of Public Safety said. “They're all excuses and that's all they are is excuses. Unfortunately, if you have that crash in town or out of town, you need something buckling [you] up.”
When the campaign began in 2002, only 76 percent of Texans said they always buckle up. As of 2013, 94 percent said they buckle up. But, only 82 percent of pickup truck passengers use their seat belts.
“We have a sense that when we're in a pickup that we're a little bit safer, but pickups roll over probably quicker than a lot of other vehicles,” Dean said.
Dean said there are approximately three total crashes involved in every single wreck.
“One, the vehicle comes to a stop; two, the people in the vehicle come to a stop--they're going to hit something--do you want to hit the dashboard? You want to hit the end of that seat belt. And then number three is when your internal organs come to a stop because everything is traveling at whatever the vehicle speed is so a seat belt is the best way to ride down those crash forces and be safe,” Dean said.