News Release

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TFC Michael Murriell
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 14, Ashland
(606) 928-6421
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Post 14 - Thanksgiving Public Service Announcement

Date of News Release: 11/17/2011

(Ashland, Ky.) -- The Kentucky State Police in Ashland will step up enforcement during the Thanksgiving holidays in efforts to reduce the number of traffic crashes. With the holidays upon us, millions of Americans are hitting the road to visit with family and friends. The Kentucky State Police in Ashland wants every celebration to be a joyous occasion, so travelers are reminded troopers will be out in force through the Thanksgiving weekend, sending the strong message to slow down and obey the traffic laws.

While seat belt use is at a record high of 85 percent nationwide, Kentucky lags behind with an 82 percent usage rate. There were 760 total highway fatalities in Kentucky in 2010, with 598 killed in motor vehicles. Of those 598 fatalities, 62.5 percent were not wearing a seat belt.

In Kentucky last year there were 1,305 crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday, resulting in 405 injuries and nine fatalities. Of those fatalities, four were unrestrained. Locally, at Post 14 which encompasses the counties of Boyd, Carter, Greenup, and Lawrence, there were no fatalities reported during the 2010 thanksgiving period of 25 to 28 November; however, there were 5 driving under the influence arrests and four collisions. As of 17 November 2010, there were 668 statewide fatalities compared to 633 as of 17 November 2011.

Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

CPT Merrell Harrison, Commander of Post 14, wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday and reminds citizens to report suspicious criminal activity and erratic drivers to the Kentucky State Police. Callers can remain anonymous and can call 606-928-6421 or 1-800-222-5555.

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