POSTED: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 7:18am
UPDATED: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 1:45pm
By clicking it, authorities say you can save your life. Researchers say seat belts have saved nearly 3,000 lives in the last 10 years, since the “Click it or Ticket” campaign began.
"We are at 94% right now of compliance but we sure would like to see it at 100% where we wouldn't have to worry about anybody getting killed or seriously injured."
Police officers from Los Fresnos, Brownsville and McAllen were present during today's event. Also there were the Cameron and Hidalgo County Sheriff's Departments. Showing up to today's celebration was imperative to send a message out there: You need to wear your seat belt at all times.
"Whether you're in the front seat or backseat, you have to be seat belted, it doesn't matter about the age or where you are in the car."
Before the Click it or Ticket campaign began in 2002, only 76% of the state's population was buckling up. And because of the extensive campaigning and enforcing the law, that percentage jumped to 94%.
"It doesn't take very long to seat belt yourself and it doesn't take very long to seat belt your child."
The seat belt law that went into effect two years ago requires all occupants of a vehicle, no matter their age, to be secured by a safety belt, no matter where they are seated in the vehicle. The new law also states that any child younger than 8 years of age needs to be buckled in an approved child passenger safety seat unless the child is taller than 4”9 in height. Not following these guidelines can result in fines from $25 to $250.
To ensure every driver is obeying the seat belt law, thousands of state troopers, police officers and sheriff deputies will step up the enforcement between May 23rd and June 5th.