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Texas Press Tour

Posted on April 30, 2012

TxDOT is taking the “Click It or Ticket” message all across Texas. See the press event schedule below. Locations and dates are subject to change.

Tuesday, May 1: Austin – Lady Bird Lake
Wednesday, May 2: Houston – Sabine Bridge
Thursday, May 3: Dallas – Reunion Tower
Tuesday, May 8: Rio Grande Valley – TxDOT Travel and Info Center
Wednesday, May 9: San Antonio – Institute of Texas Cultures
Friday, May 11: El Paso – Upper Tom Lea Park
Tuesday, May 15: Amarillo – Palo Duro Canyon (Upper Parking Lot)
Wednesday, May 16: Lubbock – Buddy Holly Center
Thursday, May 17: Abilene – Abilene Zoo
Tuesday, May 22: Wascom (Atlanta District) – Travel and Information Center
Thursday, May 24: Corpus Christi – Whataburger Field
Friday, May 25: Laredo – Laredo Energy Arena

View and download all of the press materials here.

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Three Strikes, You’re Out

Posted on May 31, 2011

Did you know that there are technically three collisions within one crash?
1. The vehicle and another object
2. The occupant and another object (airbag, windshield, or worse)
3. The occupant’s internal organs against the inside frame of the person’s body

Seat belts save lives by reducing the impact of the 2nd and 3rd collisions. Watch the video clip below and see if you can count the three collisions. What’s stopping you?

Source: UK’s Department of Transport

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Behind the Numbers

Posted on May 26, 2011

This year TxDOT is making a big deal out of seat belts, and there are 2,843 reasons why.

Experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that increased seat belt usage over the past 10 years has resulted in 2,843 lives saved on Texas roadways. This year TxDOT is employing a large figure to represent the lives saved across the state: an 18’x 7’ sculpture that will travel press events in twelve Texas cities.

The sculpture was formed with a wood base, paint and 3,500 feet of seat-belt-like webbing. A mold was created to produce buckles. Check out the behind-the-scenes photos at the production studio below!

Fabricator: Blue Genie Art Industries

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Tracking NASCAR Safety

Posted on May 24, 2011

Today, NASCAR drivers always wear their seat belts, no matter what. In the 1940s, seat belts were not the norm in racecars. Some drivers used rope or aircraft harnesses to hold themselves in place while racing. By the early 1960s, most racecars had lap belts, and shoulder straps were added.

For several years, five-point harnesses were the standard in NASCAR racing. The five-point harness, similar to those in child safety seats, was designed to keep the driver from “submarining,” or sliding out underneath the seat belt in during a head-on collision. In 2001, Dale Earnhardt was killed while wearing a five-point harness, so many drivers switched to a six-point harness in which belts are wrapped around each of the legs.

In 2007, TxDOT partnered with NASCAR to convince Texans to buckle up.

You can read more on the extensive equipment NASCAR drivers use to stay safe here.

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History of the Seat Belt

Posted on May 20, 2011

The seat belt originated as an idea invented by George Cayley, an English engineer in the early 19th century. However, Edward J. Claghorn of New York was granted the first official patent for the “safety belt” in 1885.

The first modern three-point seat belt, the type used in most vehicles today, was developed in 1955 for Volvo—who introduced it in 1959 as standard equipment.

Nils Bohlin, Swedish engineer of the three-point seat belt

In 1985, a century after the original patent, Texas introduced its first safety belt law. When Texas launched its “Click It or Ticket” campaign in 2002, only 76.1% of the state’s population was buckling up. Today 93.84% of Texans buckle up… we’ve come a long way in safety!

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Seat Belts: The Safe Bet

Posted on May 16, 2011

Here’s a no brainer: seat beats make you safer. But how much safer? Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 45%, and in pickups, that number increases to 60%, due to the fact that pickup trucks are more likely to roll over in a crash than passenger cars.

Check out the facts:

– In 2009, 43% of Texans killed in crashes were not wearing their seat belts.

– Of the 814,403 Texans involved in crashes where there were no injuries, 98% were wearing their seat belt.

– One of every two pickup truck drivers killed in traffic crashes were not buckled up.

– Riders in the back seat who use lap and shoulder belts are more likely to survive in a crash than unrestrained occupants.

– Unbelted backseat passengers can become projectiles in a car crash: they can be tossed around inside the vehicle and even can injure or kill those in the front seat.

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Texas 10-Year Report Card

Posted on May 6, 2011

Only 76% of Texans buckled up before the Click It or Ticket campaign began a decade ago. Last year, Texas achieved its highest seat belt rate ever—93.84%—and the state now ranks seventh in the nation for highest seat belt use.

Taken from NHTSA’s Click It or Ticket Texas Fact Sheet:

2001 = 76.1%
2002 = 81.1%
2003 = 84.3%
2004 = 83.2%
2005 = 89.9%
2006 = 90.4%
2007 = 91.8%
2008 = 91.2%
2009 = 92.9%
2010 = 93.8%

This year, the goal is even higher: raise the state’s seat belt usage rate to 94 percent. So belt up and be counted!

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10 Years of Saving Lives

Posted on May 5, 2011

TxDOT’s 10th annual Click It or Ticket spring campaign kicks off this week with good news—Texans are buckling up more than ever, and thousands have been “saved by the belt.”

Before the Click It or Ticket campaign began in Texas in 2002, only 76.1 percent of the state’s population was buckling up. Thanks to a decade of increased enforcement and an extensive public education campaign about the life-saving benefits of seat belts, Texans are using seat belts in record numbers. According to the Texas Transportation Institute, 93.84 percent of drivers and passengers now buckle up. Experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that this increase over the past 10 years has resulted in 2,843 fewer traffic fatalities, 48,000 fewer serious injuries, and a savings to the state of more than $10 billion in associated costs.

See the full news release here.

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Stepping Up Enforcement

Posted on May 2, 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.

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Click It Across Texas

Posted on May 2, 2011

See the press event schedule. Locations and dates are subject to change.

May 3: Austin
Capitol Walk

May 5: San Antonio
Municipal Auditorium

May 9: Fort Worth
Fort Worth Convention Center Arena

May 12: El Paso
Parking garage across from Chavez Theatre at the El Paso Convention Center

May 16: Corpus Christi

May 17: Amarillo

May 19: Rio Grande Valley
King Kong at Bobz World, Los Fresnos

May 19: Wichita Falls

May 20: Lubbock

May 24: Houston
Houston City Hall

May 25: Tyler

May 26: Texarkana
Waskom Travel and Information Center on IH-20

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