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TxDOT launches click it or ticket campaign, “Kailee’s Crash”

The Texas Department of Transportation launched its click it or ticket campaign in El Paso Tuesday morning by unveiling “Kailee’s Crash,” a sculpture that captures a car in mid-air just prior to impact in which a young woman lost her life.

In 2017, sixteen-year-old Kailee Mills removed her seat belt for just a moment to take a “selfie” with a friend in the back seat.

At that moment, the driver lost control of the vehicle and Kailee was thrown to her death.

Her friends, who were buckled up, sustained only minor injuries.

David and Wendy Mills, Kailee’s parents, are traveling the state with the reenactment sculpture to urge Texans to buckle up.

David says “I think losing a child is the worst thing a human being can go through, knowing it was so easy to prevent by wearing a seat belt.”

The Mills family started the Kailee Mills Foundation to help inform the public on the importance of seat belt use while encouraging others to make sure everyone in the car is always wearing a seat belt.

Wendy Mills says “Spending those holidays you know as a mother without your child is difficult and I would not want anyone else to go through that.”

According to TxDOT Last year, 982 people who were not buckled up died in crashes on Texas streets and highways, an increase of 6% from 2017.

Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected from a vehicle, which is almost always deadly.

Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 45%. That number jumps to 60% for pickup truck crashes.

Texas law requires the driver and all passengers in a vehicle to be secured by a seat belt. Unbuckled drivers and passengers face a fine of up to $200.

Marc Couch is a Sergeant with the Texas Department of Public Safety, he says “The ticket becomes a reinforcement to be able to say we aren’t trying to change your behavior for just that moment in time. We’re trying to change your behavior for the rest of your life because it could be your life.”

The Click It or Ticket campaign will run from May 20th through June 2nd.

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