FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky State Police say they want University of Kentucky and University of Louisville football fans to show their team spirit by wearing their seat belts, and they are rewarding those fans who do with two special events.
On Wednesday, November 22, representatives from the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety and Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Company will be giving away free red or blue t-shirts to the first 1,000 fans who arrive with their seat belts fastened at Kroger Field in Lexington between 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. and Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville between 2:00 and 3:30 p.m.
The shirts will feature a special message: #FinishStrong (KentuckyLouisville) — Never Miss A Game — Buckle Up! under a stylized graphic of football laces.
The highest fan turnout wins friendly bragging rights before the annual gridiron match-up on November 25.
KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders says the events are designed to use the intra-state football rivalry to focus attention on the “Finish Strong” highway safety program, which encourages motorists to finish the last quarter of the year strong by buckling up and arriving alive.
“There is always a level of friendly competition among Kentuckians when the Cards play the Cats,” says Sanders. “Our hope is that we use that rivalry to encourage fans to wear their seat belts to the big game and bring attention to the issue of seat belt usage.”
As of November 17, there have been 669 total highway fatalities in Kentucky this year with 264 of those resulting from not wearing a seat belt.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts, when worn correctly, reduce the risk of fatal injuries to front seat passenger by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent.