Safety reminders for drivers during holiday weekend
By Mason Watkins
McCRACKEN Co, Ky -
Drivers hitting the road for the holiday weekend will see fewer construction zones, but more police officers.
"As motorists take to the roads to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend, we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound," Cpt. Janet Barnett, Post 1 Commander, said. "We'll be out in force, day and night, prepared to ticket anyone not wearing a seat belt."
There were 672 total highway fatalities in Kentucky in 2014, with 521 killed in motor vehicles. Of those 521 fatalities, 61 percent (319) were not wearing a seat belt.
"There are too many people dying on our roads," Trooper Jay Thomas said. "Many of those lives could have been saved with the simple snap of a seat belt or by placing a child in a car seat or booster."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, booster seats lower the risk of injury to children by 60 percent compared to the use of seat belts alone.
Kentucky's booster seat law was enhanced in 2015 to increase the height requirement to 57 inches and the age requirement to 8 years old. Children younger than 8 but taller than 57 inches will not have to ride in a booster seat.
Kentucky's seat belt usage rate increased with the passage of the primary law from 67.2 percent in 2006 to 86.1 percent in 2014. However, that is still below the national usage rate of 87 percent.