ATLANTA – The agony is merciless. The pain cuts deep. Deeper and more vicious than anyone can imagine when you lose a child. Unfortunately, hundreds of parents have had to endure this nightmare after losing their teens in car crashes in which they weren’t wearing their seat belts.
With vehicle crashes continuing to be the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers, TxDOT’s “Teen Click It or Ticket” campaign is urging teens to buckle up in every seat for every ride.
A seat belt offers the best protection in a crash, but sadly, seat belt use remains low among teen drivers and passengers. In 2020, 46% (138 of 300) of teen drivers killed in vehicle crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
In 2020, there were 10 motor vehicle traffic crashes in the Atlanta District in which unrestrained teen occupants (ages 15-20) sustained fatal or serious injuries. These crashes resulted in 3 fatalities and 7 serious injuries.
“We want to remind teens to take responsibility not only for themselves but also for those who are riding in their vehicle. Everyone must buckle up,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “One simple click of a seat belt can save a life.”
Throughout the month of February, the “Teen Click It or Ticket” campaign will be highly visible, seeking to reach Texas teens with its seat belt safety message. The outreach will include TV, digital advertising and social media. Additionally, an interactive element will be introduced as the campaign makes visits to 11 high school campuses across the state with its “Teen Click It or Ticket” vehicle.
Teens will also be educated on Texas law which requires drivers and all passengers to wear a seat belt. Unbuckled drivers and passengers — even those in the back seat — can face fines and fees of up to $200.
“Teen Click It or Ticket” is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths.