TxDOT, High Schools Focus on saving teen lives
Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. In an effort to curb this deadly trend, the Texas Department of Transportation is partnering with more than 900 Texas high schools to remind teens to “Click It or Ticket.”
“All traffic fatalities are tragic, but it’s especially difficult to hear about teenagers having their lives cut short,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “We’re asking families, teachers and peers to remind teens to buckle up every time they get in a vehicle. It’s the law and it can save their lives. Don’t let your child be the next fatality.”
In 2014, 293 teen drivers and passengers (ages 15-20) died as a result of traffic crashes in Texas. Of those fatalities, 134 (46 percent) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
To help raise awareness and save lives, TxDOT is sending free “Teen Click It or Ticket” educational toolkits to high schools across the state. Each kit contains banners, posters, brochures and parking lot signs reminding students to wear their seat belts or face costly tickets, injuries or even death.
Throughout the spring, TxDOT also will promote “Teen Click It or Ticket” at University Interscholastic League (UIL) competitions. A real-life, mangled truck display and an audio recreation of what happened to the teens who survived it, will be set up at boys’ and girls’ state high school sports tournaments in San Antonio, Georgetown and Austin.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), properly worn lap-shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent. Texas law requires all vehicle drivers and passengers to be buckled in a seat belt or face fines and court costs up to $200.