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HPD Joins Click It or Ticket Enforcement; Unbuckled Motorists Risk Getting a Ticket

May 18, 2006 -- From May 22 through June 4, 2006 the Houston Police Department will be out in force, participating in the statewide "Click It or Ticket" enforcement education campaign. The goal is to make motorists aware that wearing a seatbelt is not only a good idea that saves lives, it's the law in Texas.

Officers will also be citing motorists for DWI violations, moving violations (stop sign, illegal turns) and intersection traffic control violations (running red lights). "We want to educate and encourage motorists to modify unacceptable driving habits that lead to accidents, serious injuries and property damage," said HPD Traffic Enforcement Sergeant A.J. Washington. Officers will also be checking to see if motorists have any felony, misdemeanor and traffic warrants from the city, county and DPS (Department of Public Safety). Motorists are reminded to keep their valid insurance card in their vehicle and renew expired registration and inspection stickers.

During the same reporting period for this enforcement last year, the Houston Police Department wrote 4105 citations for seatbelt violations and 346 citations for child safety seat violations. Not having a child in an approved child safety seat is one of the most dangerous things you can do to cause your child serious injury or death.

In 2005, Texas seatbelt usage increased 7% moving up from 83.2% to 89.9%. For the State of Texas, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that up to 185 fatalities and 3,000 serious injuries will be prevented and $600 million in economic costs saved. "Law enforcement agencies will be writing tickets to people who just don't get it yet. It's simple - - Click It or Ticket," Sergeant Washington added.

During this campaign, the Houston Police Department will also focus attention on educating occupants of pickup trucks. It is estimated that well over a million pickup truck drivers and passengers in a five-state region are still not buckling up, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths every year in traffic crashes. A pickup truck is twice as likely as a passenger car to roll over and result in a fatality. A person reduces their risk of dying in a rollover crash by up to 80% when they wear a seatbelt.

AW/MES 5-18-06

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.