For Immediate Release
Contact: Robin Newberry
Time: 2 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Location: Whitehaven, Paducah, KY
Please join local and state officials for a Press Conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Whitehaven visitors’ center as we kick off the national "Click It or Ticket" seatbelt enforcement effort on the local level.
The Paducah Police Department will utilize a federal grant to pay for overtime to conduct both the "Click It or Ticket" and the PPD’s "Operation Summer Nights" annual safe-driving campaign. While "Click It or Ticket" focuses primarily on seatbelt enforcement, the PPD also will emphasize other safe driving issues, including DUI saturation patrols of three to five officers focusing on DUI enforcement.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that – when worn correctly – seatbelts are proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to cars’ front-seat occupants by 45 percent, and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans. Motorists are 75 percent less likely to be killed in a roll-over crash if they are buckled up, the NHTSA says.
Kentucky’s seatbelt usage rate is 83.7 percent, below the national rate of 86 percent. Last year in Kentucky more than half (62.5 percent) of motorists killed in vehicle crashes were not buckled up.
"Although this huge law enforcement presence can be intimidating, the ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign is not about writing tickets," said Capt. Don Hodgson. "It’s about increased awareness and saving lives."
However, Hodgson said, a seatbelt violation citation may be the only way to convince some people to buckle up.
"We’ll be patrolling around the clock, so if we find you unbuckled – day or night – expect a ticket," he said. "No exceptions. No excuses."
Ultimately, Hodgson said, the goal is for all motorists to make it home safely.
"Anyone can be involved in a crash at any time," he said. "So please, always buckle up and always make sure your friends and family do the same."