The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) says that the Teen Ticket or Click It campaign will continue to run through Feb. 15.
The awareness campaign to encourage teenage drivers to wear their safety belts started on Feb. 1.
According to the transportation department, in 2021 there were 20 motor vehicle crashes in the Atlanta District alone wherein unrestrained teen occupants (ages 15-20) had a fatal or serious injury. The crashes resulted in four fatalities and 19 serious injuries.
Also in 2021, across the country, 45% of teens killed in vehicle crashes (144 of 318) were not wearing seat belts.
“Teen drivers are less experienced and twice as likely as adult drivers to be involved in a fatal crash,” said TXDOT Atlanta District engineer Rebecca Wells. “In addition to slowing down and not driving distracted or impaired, we want our teens to know the importance of wearing a seat belt. Teenagers are the least likely of all age groups to use a seat belt, but it can literally save their life if they’re involved in a crash.,” Wells added. “Seat belts keep you inside the vehicle and reduce your risk of dying in a crash by 45 percent in a car, and up to 60 percent in a pickup truck.”
TXDOT executive director Marc Williams wants every teen from rider to driver to know to use their seat belt on every trip.
“It takes only a few seconds to put on your seat belt, and those few seconds can save a life,” said Williams.
The outreach will include TV, radio, digital advertising and social media. Additionally, an interactive element will be introduced as the campaign makes visits to several high school campuses across the state with its Teen Click It or Ticket mobile digital vehicle.
Teens will also learn about the Texas law which requires drivers and all passengers to wear seat belts. Unbuckled drivers and passengers — even those in the back seat — can face fines and fees of up to $200.
The campaign is part of the transportation department’s #EndTheStreakTX. The last deathless day on Texas roadways was Nov. 7, 2000.