The Kentucky State Police announced that as a result of its seatbelt enforcement efforts, 7,021 seat belt and 223 child restraint citations were issued to unrestrained motorists during the national 'Click It or Ticket' enforcement mobilization (May 19 - June 1). KSP joined other state and local law enforcement agencies who participated in 'Click It or Ticket' as part of a statewide effort to increase seat belt use among those identified as least likely to buckle up. The campaign includes the Memorial Day Holiday travel period which is one of the deadliest for motorists in the Commonwealth.
KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer was pleased with his agency's results in the statewide mobilization effort.
"Last year, there were 835 crashes in Kentucky during the Memorial Day weekend," said Brewer. "Eight people lost their lives and 355 were injured. Many of these fatalities and injuries might have been avoided if the drivers had buckled up, slowed down and avoided the use of drugs and alcohol. I applaud the efforts of our troopers during this campaign and their dedication to saving lives on Kentucky roadways."
Captain Tim Lucas, Commander for the Highway Safety Branch points out that, according to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), regular seat belt use remains the single most effective way to protect yourself and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. When worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent - and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans.
"Kentucky has a seat belt usage rate of 72 percent and even though we have improved from past years, it is still disturbing that some individuals refuse to buckle up - the citation numbers bear this out," said Lucas.
We are hopeful that the numbers we achieve in 2008 will reflect that we are getting the message across to those who have cavalier attitudes when driving and less likely to buckle up," added Lucas.
In addition to the seat belt citations, KSP issued 6,333 speeding citations; 461 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests; 46,308 vehicle inspections; 434 suspended license violations; 2,029 failure to provide proof of insurance citations; 77 reckless driving citations; 151 drug arrests; 6,279 miscellaneous traffic violations and 164 fugitives were apprehended during the enforcement campaign.
'Click It or Ticket' is a national enforcement effort that is supported by federal NHTSA funding allocated to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. KSP will continue its highway safety efforts through enforcement and public awareness throughout the summer
The public is encouraged to report any unsafe operation of a motor vehicle by contacting the Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555.