AUSTIN, Texas – After his red pickup truck was caught on camera getting tossed around by a tornado, a teenager is helping educate other Texans to buckle up.
Sixteen-year-old Riley Leon celebrated the 20th anniversary of "Click It or Ticket" at the Texas State Capitol Monday by talking about his encounter with the Elgin twister.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says that since launching in 2002, the campaign has saved 6,972 lives, prevented 120,000 serious injuries and saved $26.3 billion in related economic costs.
"Whether you’re traveling during the day or at night, a short or long distance, or as a driver or a passenger, wearing a seat belt remains the single most effective way to protect yourself from serious injury or death in a crash," TxDOT said in a press release.
Texas officers are said to be stepping up their efforts from May 23 through June 5 to ticket unbelted drivers and passengers.
On March 21, Leon was driving home from a job interview in Elgin, Texas, when an EF-2 tornado blew his truck onto its side and spun it around multiple times before getting flipped back upright onto its wheels.
Amazingly, Riley was able to drive away as the twister continued its path of destruction. His only injury was a cut on his elbow.