Trooper Brad Arterburn
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 5, Campbellsburg
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Seatbelt Enforcement in KSP Post-5 Area
Date of News Release: 12/20/2007
(Campbellsburg, KY.) - The Kentucky State Police at Post 5, Campbellsburg, are stepping up their efforts in the enforcement of Kentucky's seatbelt laws. The current seatbelt law allows Kentucky's law enforcement to pull over a violator, even if that is their only violation. The driver will also be cited if one or more of the vehicles passenger(s) are not properly restrained with their seatbelt. The law also targets those that do not have children 40 inches or below, in a proper child restraint seat. Those children over 40 inches but under 8 years of age, should be in a proper "booster" seat. Fines for a seatbelt violation is $25.00 and it's $50.00 for a child restraint violation.
Post 5's Commander, Captain Russ Harney says that Post 5 Troopers will be aggressively searching for unrestrained occupants of motor vehicles. Some of the Post 5 law enforcement personnel have unmarked vehicles, so you will never know who is watching for those seatbelt and/or child restraint violations. Post 5 has had an unusually high number of fatalities this year, and the lack of seatbelt usage has been a major contributor.
Beginning January 1, 2007, law enforcement around the state began handing out tickets rather than "courtesy warnings" to motorists caught not wearing their seat belts. On that date, the six-month grace period built into the "primary seat belt law" (KRS 189.125) ended and violators are now subject to a fine not to exceed $25. Previously, Kentucky's seat belt law only allowed officers to cite for this violation if motorists were pulled over for another traffic violation. Law enforcement can now stop a vehicle solely for an occupant restraint violation.
Regina Hennequant of Radcliff, Ky., will never forget how her 17-year-old son's failure to wear a seat belt on November 20, 2006, changed the lives of her family. "Boone" Redmon was in a hurry and made a fatal mistake.
"Because he didn't take the five seconds to put on his seatbelt, Boone lost his life, and I lost my baby," said Hennequant. Vine Grove police said Redmon was fatally injured when his head struck the passenger door after being thrown across the front seat. "The loss of Boone has had a powerful impact within our community. Several people have come to me and said they are thinking about what happened to Boone and buckling up, before starting their car," added Hennequant.
Unfortunately, each year there are many tragic stories like that of Boone Redmon. People will buckle up for a short period of time and then go back into the 'it won't happen to me' mode. Each county knows of at least one example of one or more people dying or getting critically wounded, because they didn't wear their seatbelt.
In Kentucky last year, 985 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents. Of those accidents, 67 percent of the occupants were not wearing their seatbelts. Research has shown that seatbelts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45 percent. If your vehicle rolls over, no one is strong enough to keep themselves from being thrown from that vehicle. Once you are ejected or partially ejected, your vehicle will probably roll over you, killing or critically injuring you. And just because your going a short distance, you still need to put on your seatbelt. Statistics show that most accidents happen within 2.5 miles from their destination at speeds under 45 mph.
Locally, from January 1st, 2007 until November 1st, 2007, the six counties in KSP Post 5's area, (Oldham, Carroll, Trimble, Henry, Gallatin and Owen Counties), have had 26 fatalities. During the same time period in 2006, there were 7 fatalities. The accidents this year, have occurred mostly on Saturdays, Sundays or Mondays, and usually between 4:00 PM and midnight, under "clear" weather conditions. Lack of seatbelt usage, has been noted in nearly 50% of this years fatal collisions.
"Don't become a tragic statistic," said Trooper 1st Class Chip Perry, PAO for Post 5. "If you are driving without a seat belt, or if anyone in your vehicle is not properly restrained, you will be pulled over and you will be cited..."