LUFKIN – Hudson High School will host the TxDOT Teen Click It Or Ticket safety campaign event Thursday, Feb. 20. The program is designed to help educate and reduce the number of crashes and fatalities involving teenagers who choose not to wear a seatbelt.
The event is scheduled from 9 – 11 am and will include an interactive experience that will urge teens to buckle up. A mangled truck will be on site showing a rollover crash where two teens survived because they were wearing a seatbelt.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42 percent of teens killed in crashes in Texas in 2018 were not wearing a seatbelt. Teen drivers are involved in twice as many fatality crashes as adult drivers. Of the 264 teen drivers and passengers killed in vehicle crashes in Texas in 2018, 111 were unrestrained.
“For teens, getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage, but when they start driving, they aren’t thinking about how their lack of experience places them at greater risk of getting in a crash,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Tragedy can strike in an instant which is why we hope all parents, teachers and other influencers are urging teens to buckle up each and every time no matter how short the trip maybe.”
The “Teen Click It or Ticket” campaign will reach out to Texas teens through TV, radio, digital advertising and social media. The TxDOT annual campaign visits different high schools each year. This year, it will feature interactive events at six Texas high schools, with a virtual reality game and an augmented reality experience to share the campaign’s safety message in a highly engaging manner.
Texas law requires drivers and all passengers to wear a seat belt. Unbuckled drivers and passengers — even those in the back seat — face fines and fees of up to $200. Seatbelts prevent drivers and passengers from getting ejected from a vehicle, which is almost always deadly. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 45%. That number jumps to 60% for pickup truck crashes.
Teen Click It Or Ticket is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit and never driving distracted or after drinking or doing drugs. Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.
To learn more about “Teen Click It or Ticket,” visit https://www.txdot.gov/driver/kids-teens/teen-clickit.html.
- Rhonda Oaks is the Public Information Officer for the nine-county Lufkin District of the Texas Department of Transportation. A Lufkin native, she is a graduate of Hudson High School and Angelina College. She has a background in print journalism and worked for many years as a newspaper reporter and a freelance writer. She has received eight Associated Press awards. Her articles have been published in many publications over the past 25 years.