Police officers will be on the lookout for drivers and passengers (drunk and sober) who aren't buckled up this Memorial Day weekend. The Texas Department of Transportation will be conducting its 13th annual "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign in the Houston area until June 1.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, more than 800 seat-belt and child-restraint tickets were issued last Memorial Day weekend. Per Texas law, tickets can be given out to anyone in the car without a seat belt, driver or passenger.
Deidra Samuels, a TxDOT spokesperson, said there won't necessarily be checkpoints set up to enforce seat belt laws, but the number of officers working during the campaign period will double the normal amount.
But don't worry. The government isn't spending your tax dollars employing extra officers to ticket you for more money. Samuels said the Department of Transportation uses holiday grant money to put extra officers on the streets.
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"This one, especially, is the star of the summer," Samuels said about Memorial Day weekend, when people hit the roads. "There are a lot of activities during the summer that involve not only drinking, [people are] doing a lot more in their car."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that since its inception, Texas's "Click it or Ticket" campaign has resulted in 3,962 fewer traffic fatalities and saved more than $15 billion in related economic costs.
John Cannon with the Houston Police Department calls the enforcement period "an educational campaign more than anything." The informative handout is a traffic ticket.