“Click It or Ticket.” It’s simple, it’s the law and it’s a reminder from the Texas Department of Transportation that seat belts save lives.

“With Memorial Day weekend and the summer vacation season approaching, we’re urging people to buckle their seat belts every time they get in their vehicle,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Every person in a vehicle – front seat or back seat – needs to buckle up. Not only is it the law, but seat belts save lives.”

Last year in Texas, 2,370 vehicle crashes involving unrestrained occupants resulted in 889 fatalities and 1,854 serious injuries. Wearing a seat belt helps keep occupants from being ejected in a crash and increases the chances of surviving by 45 percent. In pickup trucks, that number jumps to 60 percent, as those vehicles are twice as likely as cars to roll over in a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that since its inception, the “Click It or Ticket” campaign in Texas has resulted in 4,687 fewer traffic fatalities while preventing 79,578 serious injuries. When the “Click It or Ticket” campaign launched in 2002, only 76 percent of Texans used their seat belts. Today, 9 out of 10 Texans buckle up.

Along with TxDOT’s annual, statewide “Click It or Ticket” campaign and awareness tour, police departments across the nation will step up enforcement efforts from May 23 – June 5. In Texas, the 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.

To learn more about “Click It or Ticket,” visit texasclickitorticket.com.