"Click It, Or Ticket" campaign kicks off

Lawton_Oklahoma and Texas law enforcement agencies are teaming up for the annual "Click It, Or Ticket" safety campaign.  Statistics say that every nine seconds, someone in the United States is injured in a car crash.  Just last weekend, a Lone Wolf man died after his truck hit a culvert which caused him to go airborne for 65-feet.  When the truck landed, it rolled over, and he was thrown from the vehicle to his death.  He wasn't using his seatbelt.  The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says that had he been wearing his seatbelt, he might even have been alive today.

You may see police officers pulling over drivers more frequently for the seemingly simple offense of not wearing a seatbelt.  But, enforcement officials say the "Click It, or Ticket" campaign is something they take quite seriously.  "It's shown buckling up saves lives during traffic accidents," says OHP Patrolman Jerry Wingate.

This year alone, 64% of those who died in traffic collisions were not using their seatbelts, which is why Wingate says it's so important to buckle up - especially with the upcoming holiday weekend.  Wingate says he knows how deadly car accidents can be.  He remembers one tragedy where a carload of teenagers crashed, and he says not one was buckled in.  "A majority of them were ejected and one lost his life due to it," he said.

Wingate says nearly 900 children are injured and seven killed in collisions every year.  He advises parents to set a good example.  "That's the most important thing a parent could do is make sure their child is buckled up," he said.  And it only takes a few seconds to buckle the belt, and save a life.

The "Click It, Or Ticket" campaign runs through June 1, so be sure to buckle up. Especially during the intense holiday travel period.  If you get stopped for not wearing your seatbelt, you will be issued a citation for $20, but if a child isn't wearing proper restraints, the fine could be a lot higher - up to $200.