Austin Local News
Williamson County Sheriff's Office steps up Click It or Ticket enforcement
Total unbelted deadly wrecks increased nine percent from 2015 to 2016. In Texas, it’s the law for both drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt in both the front and back seat of the vehicle. As part of the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, law enforcement officers across Texas will increase their efforts day and night to identify and issue tickets to drivers and passengers not wearing a seat belt. The increased enforcement starts May 22 and runs through June 4.
Deputies with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office will be stepping up enforcement randomly during this period to help decrease deadly wrecks for lack of wearing a seat belt.
“Seat belts due in fact save lives and I encourage all Texans to make certain that they buckle up when they get in their vehicles,” said Sheriff Chody.
When the “Click It or Ticket” campaign launched in 2002, only 76 percent of Texans used their seat belts. Today nearly 92 percent buckle up. Eight percent still don’t, and that number doubles to 16 percent at night, when most deadly wrecks occur. Last year 62 percent of the 994 unbelted fatalities occurred at night—from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Wearing a seat belt helps keep an occupant from being ejected in a crash and increases the chances of surviving by 45 percent in a passenger vehicle and up to 60 percent in a pickup truck. In Texas, the law requires everyone in a vehicle—including those in the back seat—to buckle up or face fines and court costs up to $200. Children younger than 8 years must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they’re taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If they aren’t properly restrained, the driver faces fines up to $250 plus court costs.
The Texas “Click It or Ticket” campaign has saved 5,068 lives in the last 15 years and prevented 86,359 people from serious injury in traffic crashes. Properly wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent death or serious injury in the event of a crash, and it’s the law. Texas “Click It or Ticket” is part of a joint effort by DPS, the Texas Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and numerous city and county law enforcement agencies across the state.
To learn more about “Click It or Ticket,” visit texasclickitorticket.com.