Police will be on lookout for violators of seat belt law

Junior, it's time to buckle up.

Starting today, extra officers will be on patrol throughout Texas as part of a special Click it or Ticket! campaign by local law officers and the Texas Department of Transportation.

The campaign will continue through Sunday.

Fort Worth, Arlington and North Richland Hills are among numerous agencies in Tarrant County that will participate. Officers will be on the lookout for all seat belt violators, especially young drivers and passengers.

"Unfortunately, too many of our drivers and passengers, particularly the teens, still take the attitude that a serious car crash will never happen to them," Bedford Police Chief David Flory said. "But these tragedies can and do happen all the time."

Young drivers are the least likely age group to buckle up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Texas, 47 percent of the 371 drivers and passengers ages 16 to 20 killed in crashes in 2008 did not have seat belts on, the agency reported. About half of those would have survived had they been wearing seat belts, according to the report.

Police will patrol in all neighborhoods, but they will focus on areas frequented by young motorists, such as high schools, malls and other shopping areas, and movie theaters.

State law requires that every driver and passenger use seat belts.

DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR., 817-390-7763