Law enforcement officers, agencies honored for seat belt and child restraint enforcement
Ceremony salutes efforts to save lives on Kentucky roadways
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety today honored 141 law enforcement officers from 122 agencies across the Commonwealth for their efforts to increase the use of seat belts and child restraints.
The 2011 Governor’s Occupant Protection Awards ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Lexington. Awards were presented to officers with the most occupant protection citations in each agency and division. There are six divisions, based on 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 State Highway Engineer Steve Waddle, 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 760 total highway fatalities in Kentucky in 2010 with 598 killed in motor vehicles. Of those killed, 62.5 percent were not buckled up.
“Our law enforcement is making a difference, as our overall fatalities decreased last year compared to 2009,” said Waddle. “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.
For more information, visit highwaysafety.ky.gov.