Department of Highways, District 11
Local Officials Team Up with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to Encourage Clay County HS Students to “Drive Smart”

Press Release Date:  Monday, January 23, 2006  
Contact Information:  Sandy Rudder
Public Information Officer
District 11
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Local Officials, the Drive Smart Kentucky Bear and Clay County High School students unveiled a “Buckle Up CCHS” sign on Friday, January 20, as a reminder for students and all Kentuckians to Buckle Up and Drive Smart!   The signs are a cooperative effort of the Governor’s Executive Committee on Highway Safety and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and target increasing safety belt usage and reducing the numbers of fatalities on Kentucky’s highways. 
 State and local officials were on hand as the sign was unveiled.  A safety belt survey conducted by the Cumberland Valley Area Development District at the High School on May 5, 2005 indicated 97 drivers and passengers (21%) were wearing their seatbelts and 376 were unrestrained (79%). 

 Safety belt usage in Kentucky is only 67% compared to the U.S. rate of 82% with Kentucky ranking 47th in the nation in seatbelt usage.  In 2005, two out of every three vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes in Kentucky were not wearing a safety belt.  Tragically, car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens; teen drivers are much more dangerous at night and with passengers; and any driver is most likely to have a crash during the first two years of driving.

Governor Ernie Fletcher called for the passage of a primary seat belt law during his recent State of the Commonwealth address.  Passage of a primary seat belt law is all about saving lives, at least 62 fewer fatalities per year.   In addition, Kentucky would receive a federal incentive of $11.2 million, which could be used to upgrade our infrastructure, if it passes a primary seat belt bill. 

The Transportation Cabinet fully supports primary seat belt legislation and is aggressively working for its passage by the legislature. You can leave a message, stating your support, with your State Representative and State Senator by calling the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181.