POSTED: Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 12:11pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 3:18pm
AUSTIN, TEXAS (TEA) — The Texas Department of Transportation is launching its annual “Teen Click It or Ticket” campaign to address the leading cause of death among teens: motor vehicle crashes. Aimed at Texans ages 15-20, this year’s campaign will use Vine videos, and a wrecked truck exhibit to highlight the consequences of not wearing a seat belt, such as costly tickets, lost driving privileges, injuries or even death.
“Every year, thousands of new teen drivers get behind the wheel in Texas, and they need to be in the habit of buckling up the moment they get in their vehicles,” said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. “Whether you’re driving or riding as a passenger, seat belts save lives and not buckling up can get you a ticket or worse.”
This year’s “Teen Click It or Ticket” campaign features animated characters designed to resonate with teens: “Drop-off David” lost his driving privileges for not obeying seat belt laws and now must ride everywhere with his mom. “Strapped for Cash Nash” spent his money paying for the ticket he received because he wasn’t wearing his seat belt. “Sideline Sofia” was unbuckled when her vehicle crashed and now she’s sitting on the sidelines with an injury and is unable to play with her volleyball team. All of these characters and their scenarios are featured in Vine videos , a growing, new-technology trend among teens.
Additionally, the characters will be included in free, educational toolkits available to campus classrooms. The kits include campaign posters, banners, parking lot signage, morning announcements, a school newspaper article and a parent brochure, among other items designed to remind students of the consequences of not wearing a seat belt.
TxDOT also is reaching out to teens through on-site, interactive events featuring an actual truck that was wrecked in a crash. The two teens involved in the crash were able to walk away with only minor injuries because they were wearing their safety belts. By putting on headphones, participating teens will hear the compelling story of what happened that day – and how seatbelts saved the teens’ lives. The wrecked truck will appear at the following University Interscholastic League (UIL) events in Austin and Georgetown.
Feb. 21-22: Swimming and Diving State Meet - UT Campus
March 1: Girls Basketball State Tournament - Frank Erwin Center
March 8: Boys Basketball State Tournament - Frank Erwin Center
April 18-19: Soccer State Championship - Birkelbach Field, Georgetown ISD
April 26: Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC) - UT Campus
In 2012, there were more than 660 crashes in Texas in which unrestrained occupants between the ages of 15-20 sustained fatal or serious injuries. Of the 297 fatalities resulting from those crashes, 141 were people who were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of being fatally injured in a serious crash by 45 percent. Texas law requires drivers and all passengers in a vehicle to be buckled in a seat belt or face fines and court costs up to $200.