Texas Department of Transportation officials are urging teens to be safer on the roads due to a rise in deaths resulting from not wearing a seatbelt.
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) issued a press release on Thursday pushing its “Teen Click It or Ticket” campaign urging teens to use their seatbelts. This year’s campaign will run across the state from February 1 to February 15, featuring a mobile digital vehicle with screens displaying road safety information and a trailer with the wreckage of a crash involving two teens who had only survived because of their seatbelts.
“The Teen 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 to help end the streak of daily deaths,” reads the release. “November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.”
Teens will also be presented with information on Texas’ requirement to wear a seatbelt and the fines and fees of up to $200 that can be levied on passengers and drivers alike.
TxDOT notes that despite the apparent deadly consequences and potential costs, the usage of seatbelts among teens remains low and the number of deaths due to this has been rising. Officials said that 162 out of 320 teens who had been killed in crashes in 2022 had not been wearing seatbelts, up from 144 in 2021.
“We want to remind our teens to always buckle up, no matter how far the drive,” said Marc Williams, executive director of TxDOT. “It only takes a few seconds to put on your seat belt, and that simple click can save a life.”
Federal officials have long espoused the safety of using a seatbelt on the road, even using creative and humorous signage to encourage their use, especially in the wake of the deadly consequences that can occur if one does not. Officials determined that only three people in a two-vehicle collision last December that killed six and injured three had been wearing their seatbelts, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.