From Monday, November 16 to Sunday, November 29, as we approach and celebrate Thanksgiving and more drivers take to the road, state troopers, police officers and sheriffs’ deputies statewide will step up enforcement of the state’s seat belt and child car seat laws.
Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be properly secured in the front or back seat or face fines and fees up to $200. Children younger than 8 years must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If a child isn’t secured, the driver faces fines of up to $250.
In 2019, there were 925 traffic fatalities in Texas involving an unbuckled driver or passenger. Although around 9% of Texans do not wear a seat belt, the lack of seat belt usage was reported in 42% of traffic fatalities for those people who had the option to use a seat belt (excluding pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle fatalities).
Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying by 45% for people in the front seat of passenger cars. For those in pickups, seat belts reduce the risk of dying by 60% since pickups are more likely to roll over than passenger vehicles.