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“Teen Click It or Ticket” campaign launches Thursday

Thursday, Texas teens launched the “Click it or Ticket” campaign aimed at reminding peers to wear their seat belts every time they’re in a vehicle.

In 2016, one in five crashes in Texas involved a teen, according to the Texas Department of Transportation’s most recent report. Out of the 269 young men and women killed in those crashes, 114 of them, 42 percent, were not buckled up.

None of those deaths reported happened in El Paso, however five crashes left several teens with serious injuries.

“Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells us that new teen drivers are twice as likely to be in a fatal crash as adults,” said Bryce Cunningham, co-chair of the Teens in the Driver Seat national Teen Advisory Board and a senior at Chisum High School in Paris, Texas. “It just doesn’t make any sense to not wear your seat belt when you’re in a vehicle.”

Campaign board member Ashley De La Rosa said many crashes are a result of a common driving distraction.

“They’re driving and texting at the same time,” said De La Rosa, adding that young men account for more than 45 percent of crashes.

“Boys tend to be into the fast speeding and try to beat their friends,” De La Rosa said.

Guy or girl, across the state, the campaign is put on to save lives.

“We want to see everybody at graduation,” said De La Rosa. “We don’t want to see an empty chair.”

Under Texas law, drivers and all passengers are required to wear a seat belt. You can be pulled over just because you are not wearing a seat belt and could face fines up to $200.

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