Texas police departments begin "Click it or Ticket" enforcement

Police departments in Texas and the Texas Department of Transportation have started increased enforcement of seat belt laws. TxDOT launched the first "Click it or Ticket" campaign in 2002; this year's campaign will continue through June 4.

Thursday, TxDot hung a pick-up truck from a crane in Dallas using only a seat belt.

"Our message here today is this: seat belts are strong. Seat belts save lives," said TxDOT's John Hudspeth.

When the campaign was first launched in 2002, TxDOT estimates seat belt usage was 76%. Now, the Hudspeth said usage has increased to 90%.

"There are still too many drivers and passengers in Texas making the choice to not wear a seat belt and, as a result, needlessly dying or suffering life-altering injuries," he said.

Dallas County Sheriff Assistant Chief Deputy James Spencer says his brother-in-law and cousin both died in a crash on I-30; neither was wearing his seat belt.

"Those family members would be here today if they were wearing their seat belt," he said.

Spencer said deputies, police officers and state troopers write tickets for people not wearing a seat belt to try to prevent fatal crashes.

"If you get a ticket, know we're doing it for your own safety," he said. "We would much rather issue a citation than show up at a crash."

TxDOT said 1,258 people died in crashes in Texas last year who were not wearing their seat belt.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Alan Scaia