'Click It or Ticket' Campaign Kicks Off May 21

May 22, 2007

Not wearing a car/truck safety belt can be costly. Fines for not buckling up can cost drivers up to $200…if they’re lucky. The less fortunate ones often pay with their lives if they’re in automobile accidents.

The University of Houston Department of Public Safety (UHDPS) doesn’t want the campus community to pay either price for not wearing safety belts. To help enforce Texas safety belt laws, UHDPS police officers will be on the lookout for unbuckled drivers during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign May 21 – June 3.

“This campaign is intended to emphasize that safety belts save lives,” said Lt. Richard Storemski, UH police officer. “Regular safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle accidents.”

Based on safety belt statistics, UHDPS will be particularly vigilant in observing drivers of trucks, teens and young adults and children who are not properly restrained.

“Pickup truck drivers are especially bad about safety belt use, as only 80 percent buckle up on a national level,” Storemski said. “Also, safety belt use by college-age people is historically lower than use by older groups.”

Storemski added that the goal is not to collect fines from those ticketed for not wearing safety belts. Instead, it is the mission of “Click It or Ticket” to promote safe driving habits and save lives.

“In an accident, a passenger's chance of survival is much greater if he or she is held in the vehicle by safety belts as opposed to being ejected,” Storemski said. “Expect a ticket if you don't click it, as that citation may change your safety belt habits and, in effect, save your life.”

Mike Emery