Buckle Up to Save Your Own Life


Click It Or Ticket is underway through June 2

LUFKIN – In the time it takes to read this sentence, Texans can click their seat belt and save themselves from an early grave — and save their loved ones from the sorrow of preventable loss.

While millions wear their seat belts every day as drivers or passengers, unbuckled drivers and passengers accounted for 1,183 — that’s 28 percent — of the more than 4,200 lives lost on Texas roads last year, and nearly half of all fatalities where someone could have worn a seat belt. 

In the Lufkin District in 2023, there were 5,133 motor vehicle crashes, resulting in 92 fatalities and 346 serious injuries. Of those, there were 104 crashes with unrestrained occupants, which resulted in 41 fatalities and 87 serious injuries.

TxDOT’s annual Click It or Ticket campaign aims to save lives by getting drivers and passengers to wear their seat belt 100 percent of the time.

“Buckling up is both the simplest and most effective safety decision that most of us make every day,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “No one ever expects to be in a crash, and that’s why it’s so important to always put your seat belt on every time you get in a vehicle. The one time you skip it could be the time you pay the price.”

In addition to conducting educational outreach, the campaign partners with Texas law enforcement around the state to step up enforcement of seat belt and car seat laws from May 20 through June 2, including Memorial Day weekend.

Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to buckle up or face fines and court costs up to $200. Children younger than 8 years old must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they’re taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If they aren’t properly restrained, the driver faces fines up to $250 plus court costs. TxDOT offers free safety seat inspections across the state.

TxDOT’s Click It or Ticket campaign 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 to help end the streak of daily deaths. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.

For more information, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or call (936-404-7485.

Rhonda Oaks
Rhonda Oaks is the Public Information Officer for the nine-county Lufkin District of the Texas Department of Transportation. A Lufkin native, she is a graduate of Hudson High School and Angelina College. She has a background in print journalism and worked for many years as a newspaper reporter and a freelance writer. She has received eight Associated Press awards. Her articles have been published in many publications over the past 25 years.

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