Holiday motorists across Texas are being reminded to buckle their seat belts by a new digital billboard campaign encouraging statewide traffic safety.
Sixteen-year-old Klein Collins High School student Kailee Mills was killed just blocks from her home in Spring in a single vehicle rollover accident the night of Oct. 28, 2017. Riding in the back seat, she briefly unbuckled her seat belt just prior to the accident and was thrown from the vehicle. Her three teen companions were wearing their belts and survived unharmed. Kailee’s story became the featured example in this year’s statewide Click-It-or-Ticket campaign sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
Kailee’s parents, David and Wendy Mills of Spring, have established the non-profit Kailee Mills Foundation to encourage seat belt use by motorists everywhere. The foundation also provides scholarships for youth affected by loss of a parent or sibling due to a motor vehicle accident, and provides assistance to families recovering from a seat belt related tragedy.
“In 2017, 928 people not wearing their seat belts were killed in Texas motor vehicle accidents,” David Mills, president of the Kailee Mills Foundation, said. “Buckling your seat belt is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. Buckling up if you’re in the front seat of a passenger car can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 45 percent; by 60 percent in a light truck,” he added.
As the holiday season approaches, four Houston-based organizations have joined forces to feature seat belt safety messages on billboards in 30 Texas cities. The messages will appear on digital billboards in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso and 26 other Texas cities, reaching millions of motorists across the state.
The campaign is a cooperative traffic safety initiative of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, the Kailee Mills Foundation, Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas. It kicked off Nov. 20 with launch of the first billboard located along U.S. Highway 59 in Humble.
“It is our sincere hope that this message displayed on digital billboards along our Texas roadways will remind motorists how important it is to buckle up when traveling during the holiday season and beyond. This message will reach millions of Texas drivers over the next few months,” Lee Vela, president of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas, said.
Clear Channel Outdoor Americas will run the Kailee Mills Foundation’s seat belt safety message on 10 of its digital billboards in Harris County and 16 more in the region, as well as on its digital billboards in San Antonio, Dallas and El Paso. Through the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas the message will be displayed in the remaining 26 Texas cities.