In fact, despite a recent report showing that overall seat belt usage was up, seat belt usage by those who drove pick-up trucks was still only 80%. And nearly half of all fatal pick-up truck crashes would have been prevented if the driver or passenger had buckled-up.
This has led the Texas Department of Transportation to redouble their efforts at enforcing the existing seat belt law targeting drivers they feel are most at risk. The next ‘Click It or Ticket’ seat belt enforcement campaign is going on now and will continue through June 3.
Police will be conducting special seat belt enforcement patrols focus on all drivers but especially those traveling in pick-up trucks.
In 2011, only 80.3 percent of pickup truck passengers used seat belts, according to TxDOT statistics, compared with 92.4 percent of passengers in other vehicles.
In 2010 one out of every two pickup truck drivers killed in a traffic crash was not wearing a seat belt. TxDOT says about one out of every four vehicles registered in Texas is a pickup truck.
Richy Waggoner, APD traffic commander, said passengers as well as drivers can receive fines. If found unbuckled, he said, a citation can run anywhere from $25 to $250, plus court costs.