Law enforcement is hitting the streets and looking for drivers and passengers without seatbelts.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, November 16 kicks off the annual "Click it or Ticket" campaign. The first campaign started in 2002, and 18 years later numbers of unbuckled drivers and passengers have decreased, but there's still work to be done.

Texas achieved a 90.99 percent statewide seat belt use rate in 2019, but unfortunately 925 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed on Texas roadways that same year. I honestly have to thank technology for staying on my case about buckling up. The incessant beeping from my car always cues me to fasten that seatbelt, and to do it quickly!

Some fun facts for ya! Did you know that your seat belt is the single most effective safety device in your vehicle? Really, it's true. Plus, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that since 2002 the “Click It or Ticket”  campaign has saved 6,234 lives, prevented more than 100,000 serious injuries, and saved Texas more than $23.6 billion in related economic costs.

From Monday, November 16 to Sunday, November 29, authorities will be ramping up enforcement efforts to ticket drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts, especially at night. Last year, of all crashes in which people died, 56 percent occurred at night (6 p.m. - 5:59 a.m.).

Officers have heard every excuse in the book for not buckling up, and this year they are enforcing a zero tolerance policy for those unbuckled. Seriously, fasten that seat belt or face fines and court costs of up to $200. The choice is yours.

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