FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 23, 2012) — This year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement effort, coordinated by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS), resulted in citations to 19,594 motorists for not buckling up.
The annual campaign, supported by more than 220 state and local law enforcement agencies, was conducted May 21-June 3.
The campaign’s main objective was to encourage seat belt usage through enforcement of Kentucky’s seat belt law. In the process, officers at 642 traffic safety checkpoints throughout the state also made 1,103 drunken driving arrests, 1,392 felony arrests, and 1,119 drug arrests. They recovered 53 stolen vehicles and apprehended 1,757 fugitives. They also cited 10,658 drivers for speeding, 419 for reckless driving and 5,072 people for having no proof of automobile insurance.
[pullquote_left]Officers at 642 traffic safety checkpoints throughout the state also made 1,103 drunken driving arrests, 1,392 felony arrests, and 1,119 drug arrests; recovered 53 stolen vehicles and apprehended 1,757 fugitives. [/pullquote_left]
“The goal of the Click It or Ticket campaign is not to write tickets, but to save lives,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock. “We want to educate the public on the importance of wearing a seat belt and to reduce deaths and injuries along our roadways. It’s an extra benefit when traffic enforcement leads to criminal enforcement.”
Law enforcement agencies are an invaluable resource in reducing deaths and injuries on Kentucky roadways, said KOHS Director Bill Bell.
“We believe our educational efforts are strengthened by working closely with law enforcement throughout the year to promote our highway safety messages,” he said.
The campaign placed extra emphasis on nighttime enforcement, since that is when passenger vehicle occupants are least likely to buckle up and most likely to die in crashes. Last year, 67 percent of people killed in motor vehicle crashes between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. were unrestrained.
There were 721 total highway fatalities in Kentucky in 2011 with 576 killed in motor vehicles. Fifty-eight percent of those killed in motor vehicles were not wearing a seat belt.
“We’re pleased with the results of this year’s Click It or Ticket campaign,” Bell said. “The partnership between all the agencies involved was tremendous. If one life was saved, it was well worth the effort.”
When worn correctly, seat belts are proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent – and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.