Police To Be Out In Force Through Memorial Day Weekend

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Seat belt
Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware. 

The 2013 national “Click It or Ticket” Memorial Day seat belt enforcement mobilization kicks off May 20 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up. 

Despite a wealth of data showing that seat belts save lives – and also despite implementation of a primary seat belt law – Kentucky’s 83 percent seat belt usage rate lags behind the national rate of 86 percent. 

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Therefore, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is supporting state and local law enforcement across the country in their efforts to strongly enforce seat belt laws around the clock.

“Kentucky undoubtedly experiences far too many fatalities that could have been avoided with the simple use of a seat belt,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock. “Clearly this is an indication that people are not taking the law seriously or they are just not aware of the huge risk taken by not buckling up.”

Kentucky’s roadway fatalities increased last year, going from 721 deaths in 2011 to 746 in 2012.  More than half of those killed in motor vehicles were not restrained.

“Too many motorists don’t realize the importance of wearing a seat belt, and are severely injured or killed because of it,” said KOHS Director Bill Bell.  “That’s why officers are prepared to ticket anyone not buckled up.  No warnings and no excuses.”

The KOHS awarded more than $96,800 in federal funds to 18 state and local police agencies across the Commonwealth to help bolster seat belt enforcement during the campaign. 

The funding is provided through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Although enforcement officers are will be active during the campaign, Bell emphasized, “The Click It or Ticket campaign is not about writing tickets.  It’s about awareness and saving lives.”

According to NHTSA, seat belts, when worn correctly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent – and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans.

While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 20 through June 2, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

“Motorists should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night,” said Bell.

For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit nhtsa.gov/ciot.

 

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.