FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – The Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, so the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety, or KOHS, is joining law enforcement agencies across the state for the annual Click It or Ticket campaign, which will run May 23 to June 5.
The federally funded campaign is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s high-visibility seat belt enforcement effort.
“Taking just a few seconds to buckle up can make all the difference between recovering from injuries versus losing your life in the unfortunate event you’re involved in a crash,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I urge drivers to make the safe choice to wear a seatbelt and ensure child passengers are securely restrained every time they travel.”
Through May 10, the KOHS says there have 238 highway fatalities. That is below the year-to-date figure of 275 in 2021, but above the 236 at this point in 2020.
Of the 806 deaths last year in Kentucky, 609 were occupants of motor vehicles. Of them, 333 were either not wearing a seat belt or not properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat. Twelve of them were ages 9 and under, four of whom were improperly restrained.
“These are not just numbers,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “These are people – mothers, fathers, sons, daughters – that never made it home. Taking two seconds to put on a seat belt is a simple act, yet could be the difference between life and death. Sometimes even the most attentive drivers are involved in a crash caused by other drivers. Wearing a seat belt gives you the best chance of surviving a crash.”
According to NHTSA, when worn correctly, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45 percent for front-seat vehicle occupants and by 60 percent for pickup truck, SUV and minivan occupants. Properly worn seat belts contact the strongest parts of the body, such as the chest, hips and shoulders. It spreads the force of a crash over a wide area of the body, allowing the body to slow down with the crash, extending the time when the crash forces are felt by the occupant.
“We encourage motorists to make safe choices on the road because it’s the right thing to do, not just because it is the law,” said Gray. “However, if a life may potentially be saved by writing a ticket, they will do it.”