The Paris Police Department is joining forces with the Texas Department of Public Safety and other local law enforcement agencies throughout Texas to increase seat belt use in anticipation of the busy summer driving season that starts Memorial Day weekend.
Stepped-up enforcement of the state’s seat belt laws between May 20 and June 2 is a key component of the Texas Department of Transportation’s annual Click It or Ticket safety campaign. Safety officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report that wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a car crash by 45% and up to 60% in a pickup truck.
“While many drivers and passengers have made a habit of buckling up, we still see an alarming number of motorists who have forgotten to protect themselves,” said Uniform Patrol Captain Joey Nelms. “That’s unfortunate because the few seconds it takes to fasten your seat belt can mean the difference between life and death in a crash. We never enjoy giving tickets, but if doing so gets someone to buckle up and that saves his or her life, then it’s worth it.”
According to recent TxDOT crash data, 982 people who were not wearing seat belts were killed last year in crashes on Texas roads. Nighttime is a particularly deadly time. In 2018, there were more than 2,000 fatalities and almost 7,000 serious injuries between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.
State law requires everyone in a vehicle to buckle up or face fines and court costs of up to $200. Children younger than 8 years must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches.
To learn more about Click It or Ticket, visit texasclickitorticket.com.
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