Seatbelt enforcement campaign in Midland

MIDLAND Joined by the Midland Police and Midland Fire Department, the Texas Department of Transportation will have a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Centennial Park, 200 W. Wall St. in Midland to launch its “Click It or Ticket” seat belt education and enforcement campaign.

The Texas Department of Transportation wants every person in every car and truck on Texas roads to buckle up. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of dying in a crash by up to 60%. But despite how easy and effective buckling up can be, millions of people in Texas still skip this simple step and risk their lives, a news release said.

In 2023, 1,183 people who were not wearing their seat belt died in crashes on Texas roads. This represents more than 25% of all fatalities on our roadways in 2023. Also last year, there were 109 motor vehicle traffic crashes in the Midland/Odessa area in which unrestrained occupants sustained fatal or serious injuries. These crashes resulted in 51 fatalities and 74 serious injuries.

Even one preventable death on the road is too many, so as part of the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, TxDOT will be traveling the state to urge Texans to take the extra few seconds to buckle their seat belt the next time they get into a vehicle. It could save their life or the life of a loved one.

To add extra motivation for drivers and their passengers to always buckled up, Texas officers and deputies will step up enforcement of the state’s seat belt laws from May 20 through June 2, including Memorial Day weekend.

Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to buckle up or face fines and court costs up to $200. Children younger than 8 years must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they’re taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If they aren’t properly restrained, the driver faces fines up to $250 plus court costs.