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      Charro Days "Crashed Float" aimed to raise awareness to teen drivers

      The Children TMs Charro Days Parade in Brownsville featured a new addition this year.

      It was a pick-up truck that was completely totaled by two teens involved in a wreck.

      The teens survived with no major injuries, and according to Ruby Martinez with the Department of Public Safety, it TMs because they weren TMt wearing their seatbelts.

      "We know that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths in the United States, Martinez said. In 2010, we lost 291 teens in the state of Texas, and half of those fatalities were not wearing their seatbelts."

      This year DPS is reaching out to teen drivers in the annual Click It or Ticket Campaign.

      Martinez said a good way to reach thousands of teens was during the Charro Days Children's Parade, that consist of student participants and parade goers.

      "Our audience is going to be out there and we're going to have teens, children and adults so there's going to be a huge audience to see that impact, Martinez said. Once they see that wrecked truck, that message that's on there will get them to think about it and see (the consequences)."

      DPS is hoping to reach the young drivers before it's too late, as was the case of an 18-year-old girl from Mission who died February 12, in a car accident.

      Authorities said she was apparently not strapped-in when the driver lost control and crashed.

      Martinez said they TMve discovered several reasons why teens don TMt buckle-up.

      "By polling and asking teens and their peers, most female teens are telling us that what they're hearing from the male teens, is either they don TMt want to wear them because they don TMt think they're cool, Martinez said, (or) because they think they are invincible and nothing is going to happen to them."

      Martinez said she hoped the message driving down Elizabeth Street would make teen TMs heads turn and think.