Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Johnson County

May 18, 2010

Click It or Ticket message in ’10: Everyone required to buckle up

The Texas Department of Transportation’s ninth Click It or Ticket spring campaign runs from Monday to June 6. This year’s campaign focuses on new laws regarding safety belts for back seat passengers and safety seats for children.

The new laws require that all passengers in the backseat of a vehicle be buckled up and that children younger than 8, unless they are taller than 4-foot-9, ride in a child safety seat. Fines for violations range from $25 to $250 plus court costs.

“Whether you’re the driver or a passenger in the front or back seat, every adult and every child in the vehicle must be properly restrained,” said Carol Rawson, TxDOT’s traffic operations division director. “Buckling up can not only save you from getting an expensive ticket, it can also save your life.”

More than 3,400 people died in fatal collisions on Texas streets and highways last year. Half of all pickup drivers killed in crashes in 2008 were not buckled up, Rawson said. Safety belt use increases the odds of surviving a crash by 50 percent, she said. That number increases to 80 percent in crashes involving pickups.

Since Click It or Ticket began in 2002, safety-belt use has increased from 76 percent to almost 93 percent. Safety experts estimate that the increase has resulted in 2,400 fewer traffic fatalities and 56,300 fewer injuries.

Those still least likely to buckle up are men, teenage boys, pickup drivers and passengers, according to the Texas Transportation Institute.

For information, visit www.texasclickitorticket.com.

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