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TFC Stu Recke
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Kentucky State Police
Post 2, Nortonville
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KSP Post 2 Trooper Receives Award

Date of News Release: 07/29/2012

Trooper Engler  who received a Governor’s Occupant Protection Enforcement Award on July 26. Presenter in photo is Bill Bell, Ky. Office of Highway Safety Director

(Madisonville, KY) -- The second annual Governor's Occupant Protection Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, July 26, 2012, at the Hilton Lexington/Downtown Hotel. KSP Post 2 Trooper Craig Engler was honored for his efforts to increase the use of occupant protection. Trooper Engler issued 239 citations for the enforcement period of June 16, 2011 through June 15, 2012.

At this ceremony, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety honored 126 law enforcement officers from 123 agencies across the Commonwealth for their efforts to increase the use of seatbelts and child restraints. Awards were presented to officers with the most occupant protection citations in each agency and division. There are six divisions, broken down according to the number of officers within the agency, plus a division for the Kentucky State Police.

"Despite a wealth of data showing that seat belts and child restraints save lives, each year hundreds of unrestrained motorists lose their lives on Kentucky roadways," said KOHS Director Bill Bell, who presented the awards. "These officers, their departments and agencies render a great service for public safety by enforcing our occupant protection laws."

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.

"Our law enforcement is making a difference, as Kentucky’s seat belt usage rate increased by 1.5 percentage points in 2012 to 83.7 percent from 82.2 percent in 2011," said Bell. "However, there is still a great deal of work to be done. One fatality is too many."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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. Also according to NHTSA, child restraints reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars and by 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively, in light trucks.

Trooper Engler is a 12-year veteran of the KSP. He is assigned to Muhlenberg County.

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