Click It or Ticket: TxDOT partners with law enforcement for crackdown

Click It or Ticket: TxDOT partners with law enforcement for crackdown
Passengers buckling their seat belt before turning on car; Source: TxDOT
Texas DPS Trooper approaching a vehicle in a traffic stop; Source: TxDOT
Texas DPS Trooper approaching a vehicle in a traffic stop; Source: TxDOT
APD officer set up, checking people's speed; Source: KFDA
APD officer set up, checking people's speed; Source: KFDA
APD motorcycle officer pulls over driver during traffic stop; Source: KFDA
APD motorcycle officer pulls over driver during traffic stop; Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - TxDOT is teaming up with local law enforcement agencies and adding extra patrols to crack down on those who break the law.

Getting a ticket for not wearing your seat belt is not the only thing that can happen from a stop by a police officer.

Upon further inspection of your vehicle, they can find other things that can cost you money, like say, a broken taillight.

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Between May 21 and June 3, officers will be out looking for anyone breaking the law.

Offenses can include driving under the influence, not having proper registration or for not wearing your seat belt.

"Our law enforcement partners will be out there, looking for violators," said TxDOT PIO Sonja Gross. "Fines can be as high as $200 if you fail to buckle up."

At city council Tuesday night, TxDOT granted Amarillo Police Department nearly $11,000 to help fund the extra patrols.

Statistics show last year nearly 10% of people did not comply with the seat belt law.

"[We saw] 92% compliance state wide in 2017 for seat belt usage," said Gross. "[That] is great. However, the bad news is, despite that 92% compliance, we still lost 927 lives on Texas roadways last year."

Local attorney Walt Weaver says between him and his partner they have experience in these situations.

"We've seen hundreds, if not thousands of these cases and stops," said private practice attorney Walt Weaver.

Once a ticket is issued, he says the costs associated can add up.

"This ticket carries up to a $500 fine, plus there's court costs, and it gets quite expensive," said Weaver.

Weaver has seen every type of defense. He says none works better than just wearing the seat belt.

"Some people say, well other people don't have to wear a seat belt," said Weaver. "Delivery truck drivers, school bus kids, well they're specifically exempted. Your regular motoring public has to wear a seat belt. Other people sometimes claim its uncomfortable; that's not a defense."

The best and safest method is to always remember to buckle up whenever you get behind the wheel of a car, and always make sure you're safe when out on the roadway.

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