Click it or Ticket aims to save lives

Pictured: Sergeant Bryan Witt, Texas Department of Public Safety
Pictured: Sergeant Bryan Witt, Texas Department of Public Safety

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Sergeant Bryan Witt with the Texas Department of Public Safety has seen a lot in his 24 years of working crashes.

All too many end in heartbreak, simply because someone involved in a crash was not wearing a seatbelt.

Last year, Witt said DPS troopers issued over 39,000 seatbelt citations.

"We're seeing more and more people using their seatbelts," he said, "but these numbers show that there's still work to be done in educating the public on wearing their seatbelts."

He said that these numbers must decrease - which is the goal of the Texas Department of Transportation's Click It or Ticket campaign from May 19th to June 1st.

DPS will be on roadways in full force, handing out seatbelt citations of up to $200.

"These officers have been trained to spot that," Witt said, "and they will pull you over. It's a stand-alone law. We want to remind people that it's for their own protection and could save their lives."

However, it is not a law that has been around for very long. Before 2009, passengers of a certain age could ride in the backseat without seatbelts. Now, all passengers must click it or get a ticket.

"Even if you're in the backseat and you don't have a seatbelt on," Witt said, "chances are you could injure yourself or someone in the front seat. You start flying around that vehicle, you can injure somebody else inside the vehicle."

The campaign is not just targeted toward adults. Officers will also make sure children younger than eight years of age are in a proper child safety or booster seat, depending on their age and height.

"It's real important that you get your car seat installed properly," Witt said. "We have car seat techs - also TXDOT does - that will install these car seats for you for free."

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