1:39pm

Mon July 11, 2011
Statehouse News

Seatbelt Crackdown Nets 21,000 Violators

Law enforcement agencies in Frankfort and Franklin County caught more than 300 people without their seat belts during this year’s national “Click It or Ticket” promotion, according to a recently released report. During the special two-week enforcement period from May 23 to June 5, the Frankfort Police Department and the Franklin County Sheriff’s office issued a total of 323 seat belt citations.

But that wasn’t the only thing on their radar. The two agencies reported a total of 12 DUI arrests, five child restraint citations, seven felony arrests, 12 drug arrests and 14 fugitives apprehended. They also reported 14 suspended license violations, 83 speeding citations, five reckless driving citations and 110 with no proof of insurance.

Kentucky officials report more than 21,000 motorists were cited statewide for not wearing seat belts during the two-week period.

Kentucky Highway Safety Director Boyd Sigler said the promotion is about saving lives – not writing tickets.

“The whole purpose is to reduce injuries and fatalities on our highways,” Sigler said. “We know that the more people that wear their safety belts the less fatalities.”

A total of 21,348 motorists were cited for not wearing seat belts at 825 traffic safety checkpoints around the state. More than 240 state and local law enforcement agencies took part.

Officers also made 1,347 drunken driving arrests, 1,381 felony arrests and 1,156 drug arrests in Kentucky during the campaign.

They also recovered 80 stolen vehicles and apprehended 2,003 fugitives and cited 10,995 drivers for speeding, 579 for reckless driving and 6,859 people for having no proof of insurance.

Sigler said Kentucky’s current seat belt law went into effect Jan. 1, 2006, and fatalities have dropped each year since.

“That’s probably the most important law passed by our legislature recently,” Sigler said.

Kentucky’s seat belt usage rate of 80 percent falls below the national rate of 84 percent.