In a release from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, Knox County is ranked among counties listed for safety concerns, based on data collected from 2011 to 2013.
The information was released as part of a reminder to motorists on the eve of the upcoming “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt campaign, set to run from May 19 through June 1.
KSP Public Information Officer Shane Jacobs noted that the statistics about Kentucky’s highway death toll are alarming.
He noted that in 2013, 638 people were killed on Kentucky highways. Of those, 438 stemmed from vehicle accidents, and 57.5 were not wearing a seat belt.
“While those may sound like just statistics, those of us at the KSP Post 10know from personal experience that those numbers are the actual faces of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles and friends right here in Kentucky. We notify too many families about losses that may have been prevented had a loved one only worn a seat belt,” he said.
“This goes to the heart of our mission to protect the public. That is why we have joined with thousands of state and local law enforcement and other highway safety agencies nationwide to support the 2014 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization running May 19 – June 1,” Jacobs added.
Jacobs said Kentucky’s seat belt usage rate has increased since passage of a law that makes not using a seat belt a primary offense. However, he noted that Kentucky’s seat belt usage is still below the national usage rate of 87 percent.
“This is a national problem, but law enforcement and first responders see the local faces at too many crash scenes. So, it begins right here in Kentucky. We want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destinations safe and sound, so we are letting you know now: If you are not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed. We will show no leniency,” he said. “Our officers are also trained to spot seat belt violations at night, so no matter what time of day, they will catch you. Buckling up costs you nothing, but the costs of NOT buckling up may be a ticket, or worse — your life. Treat this as a tough and potentially life-saving reminder: Click It or Ticket!”