‘Click It or Ticket’: Campaign helps FBCSO step up crackdown on seat belt violators

Obese male passenger fastening seat belt while sitting on airplane, safe flight (Motortion)

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office received a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to help crack down on unbuckled drivers and passengers during the busy Memorial Day holiday as part of a statewide seat belt enforcement campaign.

The grant will help the Sheriff’s Office step up enforcement and target seat belt violators over the holiday period by paying overtime for patrol deputies. The “Click It or Ticket” campaign runs from May 23 to June 5, 2022 and is designed to remind Texans to buckle up for safety.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office is one of several agencies in Texas that will receive funding to help the agency pay for additional officers on the road, seat belt enforcement, and other related enforcement initiatives during the campaign.

Sheriff Eric Fagan urges citizens to make safe choices including wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and not texting.

“Whether you’re taking a long road trip or driving around your neighborhood, you should always wear your seat belt,” said Sheriff Fagan. “Our deputies will be out in full force looking for drivers who decide not to follow the law.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 45% for people in the front seat of passenger cars. For those in pickups, seat belts reduce the risk of dying in a crash by 60%. For those in pickups, that number jumps to 60% since pickups are more likely to roll over than passenger vehicles.

Since January 2021, Sheriff’s deputies have issued 79 citations for failure to wear a seat belt. Of those, 35 involved children ages 8 and younger who were unrestrained.

In Texas, the law requires everyone in a vehicle to buckle up or face fines and court costs up to $200. Children younger than eight 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.

“No one wants to pay a seat belt citation, but losing your life or that of a loved one by not wearing a seat belt is much more costly,” said Sheriff Fagan. “I implore everyone in a car seat to buckle up. It truly can save lives.”

To learn more about Click It or Ticket, visit texasclickitorticket.com.