"Click it or Ticket" campaign set to begin next week

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - More than 2,000 crashes in Texas last year ended with serious injuries from people simply not buckling up.

So agencies in Wichita County are teaming up to do something about it.

Monday will kick off "Click It Or Ticket".

The numbers show the campaign, now in it's 15th year, seems to be working.

When the initiative kicked off in 2002, only about 75-percent of Texans were bucking up.

Now that number is just over 90-percent.

But the death toll is still high and law enforcement wants it to go down.

"They want to save lives," TxDOT's Tish Beaver said. "That is our ultimate goal."

The Wichita Falls police department said they respond to too many accidents that could have been prevented by wearing a seatbelt.

"There's room to survive in a car if you're wearing your seat belt," Wichita Falls Police Chief, Manuel Borrego said. "There's a very good chance of not surviving if you're thrown from the vehicle."

Buckling up seems like second nature, but statistics show not everyone does. And it could save your life.

The "Click It Or Ticket" campaign has saved over 5,000 lives, but Beaver said more work needs to be done.

"We will not stop until we get to the 100-percent use rate in Texas."

Chief Borrego said a majority of people not buckling up are younger drivers.

"A lot of our teens and young adults are the one's not wearing seat belts," Borrego said. "It's so important that parents encourage them when they are out with their friends that wherever they are sitting in the vehicle, that they wear their seat belt."

WFPD and the Wichita County Sheriff's Office will have more patrol on Memorial Day weekend to keep people safe.

Beaver wants drivers to be smart on the road so you don't end up a statistic.

"Our hope is to really reach those people that are hesitant or maybe not in the habit of putting their seat belt on," Beaver said. "Because we need our fatalities to come down. Because they are more than just numbers. Those are lives."

Chief Borrego and Beaver both said that at night, the number of people not wearing their seat belt doubles.

Chief Borrego added that he wants people to be safe while driving so that there are fewer wrecks.

Beaver said they also need to educate new drivers in the state to buckle up.

The campaign runs through June 4th.

Copyright 2017 KAUZ News All Rights Reserved