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TxDOT displays 929 'ghost shoes' to remind people about buckling up

TxDOT displayed 929 white shoes, representing deaths caused by not wearing a seat belt. (KFOX14/CBS4)

Hundreds of white shoes were on display Monday, symbolizing the lives lost of those who didn’t wear a seat belt.

The Texas Department of Transportation is enforcing its “Click It or Ticket” campaign this month.

Law enforcement will increase patrols from May 21 to June 3, looking for people who are not wearing their seat belt.

Monday, 929 pairs of “ghost shoes” were set up at El Paso Children’s Hospital, to remind the public how fast a life can be lost simply by not buckling up.

In 2017, There were 18 crashes in El Paso that resulted in death or serious injuries due to occupants being unrestrained, TxDOT officials said.

In Texas, seat belt use has increased by 92 percent, but 929 who were not buckled up died last year, according to TxDOT. Of those crashes, 57 percent happened at night.

TxDOT wants to remind people that wearing a seat belt is the single most effective step to protect themselves in a crash.

Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 45 percent in a vehicle and by 60 percent in a pickup truck, TxDOT said.

“It takes two, three seconds to do but it is known statistically to save lives,” Monica O’Kane, traffic safety specialist with TxDOT, said.

O’Kane said that TxDOT has gone to four high schools and UTEP trying to spread the word about the importance of wearing a seat belt.

“We are there for a duration of two hours. If the people in the vehicles are wearing their seat belt, they get a Chic-fil-A coupon,so we are rewarding their good behavior. If not, they get a reminder to put their seat belts on,” O’Kane said.

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