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'Click It or Ticket' cites over 21,000 unrestrained motorists

Date of News Release: 07/11/2011

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- This year's Click It or Ticket enforcement effort, coordinated by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS), resulted in citations to 21,348 motorists for not buckling up.

The annual campaign, supported by more than 240 state and local law enforcement agencies, was held May 23 June 5.

The campaign's main objective was to encourage seat belt usage through enforcement of Kentucky's seat belt law. In the process, officers at 825 traffic safety checkpoints throughout the commonwealth also made 1,347 drunken driving arrests, 1,381 felony arrests, and 1,156 drug arrests. They recovered 80 stolen vehicles and apprehended 2,003 fugitives. They also cited 10,995 drivers for speeding, 579 for reckless driving and 6,859 people for having no proof of automobile insurance.

"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."

Boyd Sigler, director of KOHS Division of Highway Safety Programs, said law enforcement agencies are an invaluable resource in reducing deaths and injuries on Kentucky roadways. "We believe our educational efforts are strengthened by working closely with law enforcement throughout the year to promote our highway safety messages," said Sigler.

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.

There were 760 highway fatalities in Kentucky in 2010, with 598 people killed in motor vehicles. Of those 598 fatalities, 162 occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., and three-fourths of those killed were unrestrained.

"We're pleased with the results of this year's Click It or Ticket campaign," said Sigler. "The partnership between all the agencies involved was tremendous. If one life was saved, it was well worth the effort because traffic safety IS public safety."

Despite Kentucky's primary seat belt law, Kentucky remains below the 84 percent national seat belt usage rate at 80 percent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts, when worn correctly, 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.

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