Texas Click It or Ticket campaign underway

Published: May. 24, 2019 at 6:48 PM CDT
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Nearly two years ago, 16-year-old Kailee Mills was in the back seat of a car, and she unbuckled her seatbelt for just a moment to take a selfie with her friends, when the driver lost control, and Kailee was ejected and killed.

Now, her parents are on a tour of Texas, warning everyone about the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt.

"We know she would still be here today if she had her seatbelt on," said her father David Mills.

Mills says his daughter would have graduated high school next week, with plans to attend Texas A&M to become a doctor.

"Our daughter was an absolute ray of sunshine. She was very outgoing, she loved to make people laugh," said Mills.

Everyone else in the car was buckled up, and they walked away with minor injuries.

Mills says the reason behind wearing a seatbelt should mean more than just being a law.

"The reason why you wear your seatbelt is because you have people at home that love you and expect you to make it home safe. Those people would be devastated if you didn't make it home safe over something so simple as wearing your seatbelt," said Mills.

TxDot says nearly a thousand people who weren't wearing a seatbelt died in crashes on Texas roads last year.

The National Highway Safety Administration says wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of dying by up to 60 percent.

The Texas Click it or Ticket campaign kicked off on Monday, that means law enforcement across the state will be watching for drivers who aren't buckled, and pulling them over.

"We're going to be out there trying to minimize the hazards and risks on the highway to make it a safer passage for people traveling through the state," said Sgt. Mark Tackett with Texas Highway Patrol.

"I wish we could just pay a fine to make this go away, but we don't have that option," said Mills.

TxDot says folks who aren't buckled up on the road could face up to a $250 fine.