What's New

Archive for the ‘Laws’ Category

What You May Be Missing at Night

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Oh no! Red and blue flashing lights in the rear-view mirror. What could you have possibly done wrong? You just hopped in the car for a quick trip to the store. You’re driving the speed limit, not blasting your music, using your blinkers. Did you remember to fasten your seat belt? No.


May is Seat Belt Safety Awareness Month, and officers are stepping up their efforts to ticket anyone not wearing a seat belt, especially at night.

Did you know that driving at night is more dangerous than driving during the day? In fact, the majority of fatal crashes in Texas happen at night. And last year (2018), of all Texas crashes in which people died and weren’t wearing a seat belt, 60% of those happened at night. So, whether it’s day or night, remember to buckle your seat belt for safety.

Terry Pence, TxDOT Traffic Safety Director, warns motorists, “In 2018 more than 2,623 people who failed to wear their seat belts were killed or seriously injured. Simply remembering to put on your seat belt increases your chances of surviving a crash by 45-60%.”

You might think that under the cover of darkness, police officers don’t notice unbuckled drivers and passengers. But they do. If you’re pulled over, that means facing fines and court costs up to $200. Instead of putting yourself and others in danger, remember: buckle up day and night, every rider, every ride.

Buckling Up in the Back Seat

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

Click it or Ticket. Back seat, too.


We all know we’ supposed to buckle up in the car, whether we’re the driver or a passenger. Warnings of all kinds remind us to fasten our seat belts, including lights, bells, dings, verbal warnings—and sometimes our cars won’t even start until the seat belts are fastened.

But what about other people who are sometimes in our cars? You know, the people or children in our back seats. Are there any bells, dings, and warnings to remind rear passengers to buckle up? Not necessarily.

Sometimes it’s not top of mind for drivers to ask or double check to see if passengers in the back of their vehicle are buckled in. That’s where we come in—to remind everyone that it’s ILLEGAL to be unbuckled in either the front or back seat, and it’s punishable by fines and fees up to $200.1

Children younger than 8 years old must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Fines issued to drivers for unrestrained children in their vehicle can be as high as $250 plus court costs.2

The safest place for children to ride in a vehicle is the back seat, and all children should be securely fastened in an appropriate safety seat in the back of the vehicle until they reach the age of 13.3

State and national data back up TxDOT’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which focuses on the laws mandating drivers and front and rear passengers to buckle up.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014 there were 9,385 unbelted passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes on our nation’s roads. In fact, from 2010 to 2014, they saved nearly 63,000 lives. And in 2014, an additional 2,814 lives could have been saved if all unrestrained occupants involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts4

If that’s not enough, these facts will drive home the importance of everyone buckling up at all times:5

  • Unbelted backseat passengers can become projectiles in a car crash. They can be tossed around inside the vehicle and can even injure or kill those in the front seat.
  • Riders in the back seat who use lap and shoulder belts are 44 percent more likely to survive in a crash than unrestrained occupants in passenger cars. In passenger vans and SUVs, the likelihood increases to 73 percent.
  • In 2015, there were 2,369 motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved unrestrained occupants who sustained fatal or serious injuries. Overall in 2015, 3,518 traffic fatalities occurred in our state.
  • In 2015, of the 467 pickup truck drivers killed in Texas in a traffic crash, 216 were not wearing a seat belt.
  • Wearing a seat belt helps keep occupants from being ejected in a crash and increases the chances of surviving by 45 percent. In pickup trucks, that number jumps to 60 percent, as those vehicles are twice as likely as cars to roll over in a crash.

1(TxDOT Facts 2016)

2(Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3) 2015)

3(NHTSA 2011)

4(NHTSA 2016)

5(TxDOT Facts 2016)

Introducing: Bernard in the Backseat

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Click it or Ticket. Back seat, too.

Download English Version Here
Download Espanol Version Here



Why It’s So Important

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Whether you’re the driver, front seat passenger, or back seat passenger, you have to buckle up.
It’s a state law. And not doing so could cost you up to $200. Want an even better reason?
Your seat belt is your number one best defense in case of a crash.

If you forget to buckle up or choose not to, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. It’s common that unbuckled passengers get thrown from their vehicle, which all too often rolls over and crushes them.

Unbelted back seat passengers can become human projectiles in a car crash. They can be tossed around inside the vehicle and even injure or kill those in the front seat.

Texas law requires drivers and all passengers in a vehicle to be secured by a seat belt. Yes, that means unbuckled adult passengers in the back seat can face fines and court costs of up to $200.

Children younger than eight years old must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Fines can be as high as $250 plus court costs.

Don’t Pickup a Ticket

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

TxDOT launched its 11th annual Click It or Ticket safety campaign with a Click it or Ticket-themed pickup suspended in air with seat belt material. It’s part of the agency’s efforts to call attention to the life-saving properties of seat belts and alert motorists of the annual crackdown on those who don’t buckle up.

Texas currently ranks seventh in the nation for overall seat belt use, and 93.7 percent of Texas motorists use their seat belts according to the Texas Transportation Institute. While Texas drivers and passengers are now buckling up in record numbers, seat belt use among pickup truck drivers and passengers continues to lag behind. That’s why safety officials especially are hoping to convince more pickup drivers and passengers to buckle up.

See the full “Click It or Ticket” news release here.

Stepping Up Enforcement

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Between May 23 and June 5, law enforcement officers will increase efforts to ticket drivers and passengers who aren’t buckled up.

Here’s the law in Texas: everyone in the vehicle must be secured by a seat belt. That means unbuckled adult passengers in the back seat will be ticketed, too.

Officers will also ticket drivers whose young passengers are not properly buckled up. Children younger than 8 years old must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet, 9 inches tall. Fines are up to $250, plus court costs.

Law enforcement can download the promotional flyer with instructions on how to participate in the incentive program here.

Funny or Die Spoof

Friday, May 21st, 2010

This “Funny or Die” spoof may be funny, but it won’t be funny if you’re the one getting a ticket. State troopers, sheriff’s departments and local police are increasing enforcement of the state’s safety belt laws.

Watch the video here.

Teen Enforcement Begins

Monday, May 17th, 2010

The annual “Click It or Ticket” enforcement period begins today. Law enforcement officers in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, and Tarrant counties are out in full force this week ticketing teen drivers who aren’t buckled up. So when you’re on your way to the movies, the mall, or even to prom, remember to always wear your seat belt, in the front AND back seats. A seat belt fine could run you up to $250!

TxDOT’s Got Your Back

Friday, May 14th, 2010

The Texas Department of Transportation will be airing a new television PSA to give Texans a head’s up: buckling up in the backseat will save you the trouble of a ticket. From May 17 through June 6, TxDOT will sponsor a statewide campaign to remind everyone to buckle up, in both the front seat and backseat.

Click It or Ticket. Even in the back seat.

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Click It or Ticket Texas Logo

State laws passed in 2009 included new safety belt requirements for both drivers and passengers. For the first time, all passengers (including adults) in the back seat now must be buckled up, and children younger than 8 years old have to ride in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are 4 feet 9 inches tall. Fines range from $25 to $250 plus court costs.

“Whether you’re the driver or a passenger in the front or back seat, every adult and every child in the vehicle must be properly restrained,” said Carol Rawson, TxDOT’s Traffic Operations Division Director. “Buckling up saves lives, and it can also save you from getting an expensive ticket.”