Last updated: May 15. 2014 1:45PM - 646 Views
Shane Jacobs, KSP Post 10 Public Affairs Officer

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For anyone who complains about getting a ticket for not buckling up when driving or riding in a motor vehicle, here’s a crash course in reality:

•In 2013, 638 people were killed on Kentucky’s roadways.

•Of those 638 killed, 483 were motor vehicle fatalities.

•Of those 483 motor vehicle fatalities, 57.5 percent were not wearing a seat belt.

While those may sound like just statistics, those of us at the KSP Post 10 know from personal experience that those numbers are the actual faces of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles and friends right here in Kentucky. We notify too many families about losses that may have been prevented had a loved one only worn a seat belt.

This goes to the heart of our mission to protect the public. That is why we have joined with thousands of state and local law enforcement and other highway safety agencies nationwide to support the 2014 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization running May 19 – June 1.

The good news is Kentucky’s seat belt usage rate increased with the passage of the primary law from 67.2 percent in 2006 to 85 percent in 2013. However, that is still below the national usage rate of 87 percent.

Seat belts save lives, but must be used to do so. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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.

People often ask, “Aren’t there more serious criminals on the street other than those who simply are not buckling up? They’re not hurting anyone but themselves.”

To the contrary, the people who choose to disobey the law by not wearing their seat belts are taking a chance with not only their lives, but the emotional and financial health of their families, friends and our community.

Death may be the ultimate consequence for not wearing a seat belt, but even for those who escape a fatal crash, the economic costs of injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes are staggering. NHTSA estimates that every year motor vehicle crashes cost our country more than $230.6 billion. That equals more than $800 per person, per year!

Yes, this is a national problem, but law enforcement and first responders see the local faces at too many crash scenes. So, it begins right here in Kentucky. We want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destinations safe and sound, so we are letting you know now: If you are not

wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed. We will show no leniency. Our officers are also trained to spot seat belt violations at night, so no matter what time of day, they will catch you.

Buckling up costs you nothing, but the costs of NOT buckling up may be a ticket, or worse — your life. Treat this as a tough and potentially life-saving reminder: Click It or Ticket!

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