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Click It or Ticket to save lives
AUSTIN -- Texans wear their belt buckles with a certain Lone Star pride, but it’s the buckles in their vehicles that could save their lives. More functional than fashionable, life-saving seat belts first debuted 45 years ago when Lyndon B. Johnson’s National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the Highway Safety Act went into effect, mandating that all automobiles have seat belts as a standard feature.
Taking a cue from LBJ’s leadership, Texas has made seat-belt safety a major priority and is proud to be one of the most buckled-up states in the union. When the Click It or Ticket campaign began in 2002, only 76 percent of Texans buckled up. Today, 94 percent are wearing seat belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the Click It or Ticket campaign has saved nearly 3,700 lives and prevented more than 50,000 serious injuries since its launch.
This year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement period dates are May 20 through June 2. Law-enforcement officials will be looking for and ticketing unbuckled drivers and passengers in an effort to raise safety awareness and prevent fatalities. By Texas law, all occupants of a vehicle, including back-seat passengers, must wear a seat belt. Each unbuckled occupant faces a ticket and fines up to $200, plus court costs.
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