The Leitchfield Police Department will once again participate in the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which kicked off officially on Monday, May 19.
Launched by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Click It or Ticket asks law enforcement agencies across the nation to heighten enforcement of seat belt laws to, hopefully, motivate motorists to buckle up and, in consequence, save lives.
During the campaign, which will run through Monday, June 16, the usual number of Leitchfield police officers will work their normal shifts, and an additional two to three officers will patrol during those shifts to enforce seat belt laws on Federal overtime, said Leitchfield Chief of Police Kevin Henderson.
The LPD will especially focus on the hours between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.
“Too many drivers and passengers on the road at night are not wearing their seat belts, and it all too often ends in tragedy,” Henderson said. “Our goal is to save more lives, so Leitchfield Police Department will be out enforcing seat belt laws - day and night.”
According to the LPD, seat belt usage is at a record high of 86 percent nationwide; however, Kentucky has fallen behind that statistic with an 83.7 percent usage rate.
Approximately 746 highway fatalities took place in Kentucky in 2012, and 592 individuals were killed in motor vehicles. 62.5 percent of those 592 individuals were not wearing a seat belt, according to an LPD news release.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also reports that the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 12,174 lives in 2012.
“Those who choose not to wear a seat belt will feel the heat from our officers, who will be out cracking down on Click It or Ticket violators,” said Henderson. “Motorists should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night.”
While the LPD would prefer to not have to write tickets, “Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone not buckled up - no warnings and no excuses,” Henderson said.
For more information about Click It or Ticket, visit www.nhtsa.gov.