Officials from the Texas Department of Transportation chose Davis High School to hold a press conference to kickoff its “Teen Click it or Ticket” campaign on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
The press conference was held in the student parking lot and attended by a group of Davis High students.
TxDOT is holding press conferences across the state to make teenage drivers aware of the importance of wearing seat belts when they are driving or riding in a vehicle.
According to TxDOT, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of deaths among teenagers and in 2018 nearly half of teens killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt. In 2018, of the 264 teen drivers and passengers killed in crashes, 111 were unrestrained. That means more than 100 lives could have been saved just by buckling up.
In addition to hearing from a number of law enforcement personnel, and TXDOT officials, Davis students also viewed a mangled truck that was involved in a rollover crash in which two teens were able to walk away from with only minor scratches thanks to wearing their seat belts.
Texas law requires drivers and all passengers to wear a seat belt. Unbuckled drivers and passengers, even those in the back seat, face fines and fees of up to $200.
Ugonna Ughanzle, TxDOT director of transportation operations, delivered welcoming remarks and reminded the Davis students of the importance of wearing seatbelts.
“We want to remind teens to buckle up every time they ride in a vehicle, whether as a driver or as a passenger. Seat belts save lives,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking to think a bright future could be cut short because a young person chose not to wear a seat belt. A simple click is all it takes to make a difference and save a life.”
Davis High Assistant Principal Dr. T.K. Davis thanked TxDOT for choosing Davis High to kickoff its “Click it or Ticket” campaign and echoed Ughanzel’s sentiments about the importance of students using their seat belts.
“The safety of our students, both on and off campus, is our top priority,” Dr. Price said. “We are pleased to have a role in educating our students and teens across the state about the importance of wearing seat belts while riding in a vehicle.”
Lt. Craig Cummings with the Texas Department of Public Safety shared that state troopers are committed to ensuring all Texas drivers remain safe on Texas roadways.
“Seat belts keep you safe,” Trooper Cummings said. “They keep you inside a vehicle in the event of a crash. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 45% in a car, and up to 60% in a truck because there is a greater likelihood that pickup trucks roll over in a crash. We urge all young Texas drivers to buckle up. It could save their lives.”
Aldine ISD Police Officer Mike Smith also addressed Davis students.
“Our concern for the safety of students in our district goes far beyond the hours they spend here on campus,” Smith said. “We aim to educate students to be on alert at all times, and this extends to what they can do to be safe before they even leave the school parking lot. Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.”
Following the press conference, Davis students had the opportunity to participate in interactive experiences.
Davis student Katia Martinez, a senior, said the presentation struck home with her.
“It gave me chills,” she said. “I will always wear a seat belt and make sure those riding in a car with me will do the same.”