ARLINGTON, Texas, May 31 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) will host their final Teen “Click It or Ticket” campaign event this Memorial Day at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington to encourage young Texas drivers to buckle up as they get ready to begin their summer holiday.
As the school year comes to an end and the summer holiday approaches, more drivers will be out on the roads, making it especially important for all occupants of a vehicle, no matter their age, to be secured by a safety belt, regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle. Law enforcement has been out in full force since May 17, making sure teens get their summer off to safe start.
Half of all teens involved in motor vehicle fatalities during 2007 were not buckled up at the time of the crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To increase safety belt usage among teens, TxDOT launched a Teen “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which has resulted in a 9.1 percent increase in safety belt usage for young Texan drivers since it began in May of 2009.
“We are extremely proud of the campaign results to date — but it’s not over yet,” said Tracie Mendez, Driver Behavior Program Manager at TxDOT. “Summer is a time of road trips and late-night movies and we want to ensure the spirit of the Teen ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign continues, making this both a summer of fun and a summer of safety.”
To make sure teens understand the importance of wearing a safety belt, TxDOT’s final teen event will feature both an Arlington family who recently lost their teenage daughter in an accident and wreckage from a truck where a teen driver and passenger survived by wearing their safety belts. A large inflatable “Click It or Ticket” version of “Big Tex” will also be on the park grounds to serve as a reminder to buckle up.
TxDOT and NHTSA representatives will be discussing the final results of the Teen “Click It or Ticket” campaign at the event. Attendees will be able to sign a pledge to always wear their safety belt and be automatically entered into a drawing to win prizes donated by State Farm.
Over the past year, the Teen “Click It or Ticket” campaign has been alerting teens about the importance of buckling up through their school educators, favorite radio DJs, law enforcement officers and peers. The teen campaign kicked-off in May of 2009 with officers handing out free food coupons from Whataburger and free music downloads to young drivers found using their safety belts in advance of enforcement week.
In October, the campaign focused on the new back seat law that requires all occupants of a vehicle, no matter their age, to be secured by a safety belt, regardless of where they are seated. TxDOT created the teen site http://www.seatbeltsrock.com to house valuable information on safety belt usage and encouraged teens to visit the site by offering prizes, including a Les Paul guitar from Gibson.
The focus on buckling up every rider, every ride continued in February with a Valentine’s Day theme of “When You Love Somebody, Everything Clicks.” It featured interactive materials such as virtual Valentine’s and an interactive quiz on http://www.seatbeltsrock.com. TxDOT also provided high school students with Valentine’s cards, posters, heart-shaped key chains and Whataburger coupons as incentives to buckle up.
For this final wave, teens and their families can visit http;//www.seatbeltsrock.com to get more information and can even create and send a personalized video to their friends and family to remind them about the importance of buckling up. People sending the personalized video to five friends will be automatically entered into a contest to win prizes donated by State Farm.
“While the Teen ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign is wrapping up this May, TxDOT and local law enforcement will continue to spread the word about safety belt usage,” said Mendez. “We are also looking to teens and their families to remind those around them to buckle up, every rider, every ride.”
For more information on Click It or Ticket, please visit http://www.texasclickitorticket.com.
The Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining nearly 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its approximately 12,000 employees strive to empower local leaders to solve local transportation problems, and to use new financial tools, including tolling and public-private partnerships, to reduce congestion and pave the way for future economic growth while enhancing safety, improving air quality and preserving the value of the state’s transportation assets. Find out more at http;//www.txdot.gov. Fan us on Facebook http;//www.txdot.gov/facebook. Follow us on Twitter at http;//www.twitter.com/txdot.
TxDOT’s five goals: reduce congestion, enhance safety, expand economic opportunity, improve air quality and increase the value of transportation assets.
Jesse Ngoo, Fleishman-Hillard
Tracie Mendez, Texas Department of Transportation
SOURCE Texas Department of Transportation