Special to the Daily News
FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) honored 126 law enforcement officers from 123 agencies across the Commonwealth for their efforts to increase the use of seat belts and child restraints.
Trooper Jason Young of Post 10 in Harlan was recognized for his efforts in the campaign. He gave 450 booster seat citations.
The second annual Governor’s Occupant Protection Awards ceremony was held at the Hilton Lexington/Downtown Hotel on Aug. 26. 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 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.
Those interested in being one of these badged-crusaders will have an opportunity. The Kentucky State Police will begin accepting applications for its next cadet class on Aug. 1.
Those interested in applying should visit the KSP website at www.kentuckystatepolice.org and click on the Career Opportunities, Recruitment Home and How To Become A Kentucky State Trooper links.
Information at the site includes an outline of the application process, a list of minimum requirements and disqualifications, a downloadable application form with a list of supporting documents required, a downloadable study guide for the written test, physical standards requirements and a list of the testing dates, times and locations.
All application materials must be completed and returned to the KSP Recruitment Branch at 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, KY 40601 no later than Oct. 1 by the close of business.
The next cadet class is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2013.