TX-DOT kicked off the annual “Click it or Ticket” campaign this week.
Last year, 982 people died in crashes on Texas roads because they were not wearing their seatbelts.
That’s an increase from the previous year.
For this year’s campaign, TX-DOT is sharing the story of the Mills family from Spring, Texas.
The state agency unveiled a sculpture modeled after the crash that killed their daughter Kailee Mills in October 2017.
It shows the car in mid-air just before impact.
Kailee had taken off her seat-belt to take a selfie in the backseat and then the driver lost control of the car.
The 16-year-old was thrown from the car and died.
David and Wendy Mills are now sharing how much Kailee’s death has affected them.
“We will never get to see her walk across the graduation stage and collect her diploma. She would be graduating high school a month from today. She planned to study medicine in college. We’re never going to get the chance to see how many people she could have helped,” her father said Monday.
The Mills are traveling across the state with the reenactment sculpture and they’re sharing Kailee’s story in hopes of saving lives.
They’re turning their daughter’s death into something positive for other families.
“It’s unfortunate that some people need the threat of a ticket to remind them to wear a seatbelt when the consequences can go far beyond paying a fine. I wish I could pay a fine to make this go away,” David Mills said in a Monday speech.
May 20th through June 2nd, which includes Memorial Day Weekend, law enforcement will be pulling people over and giving out tickets for not wearing seatbelts.
This includes people who are riding in passenger seats as well.
A ticket can cost up to $200 per person.
The Mills family will be in Tyler this Thursday to share their daughter’s story and show East Texas the “Kailee’s Crash” sculpture.