A seat belt is your best defense in the event of a crash. For more than a decade, TxDOT has sponsored the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign to warn motorists to buckle up or pay up. Only 76 percent of Texans used seat belts when the campaign began in 2002. Today, 9 out of 10 drivers buckle up.
A properly fastened seat belt is the best way to avoid death or serious injury in a vehicle crash. Lap belts should fit snugly across the hips, not over the stomach. Shoulder belts go over the shoulder and across the center of the chest. Wearing a seat belt increases the chances of surviving a serious crash by 45 percent. In pickup trucks, that number jumps to 60 percent because pickup trucks are more likely than passenger cars to roll over in a crash, and seat belts keep occupants from being thrown out of the vehicle.
Drivers and adult passengers can be ticketed if they aren’t buckled up, and violations can result in fines and court costs of up to $145. Children younger than 8 years old must be in an age-appropriate child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Fines issued to drivers for unrestrained children in their vehicle can be as high as $255.
Abilene Police Department and TxDOT remind motorists to buckle up properly every time they get in a vehicle. For “Click It or Ticket” campaign details, visit texasclickitorticket.com.