Kentucky State Police Campaign Enforces Use of Seat Belts

ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Kentucky State Police troopers are monitoring drivers in a statewide campaign called Operation: Holiday Lights.

More than half of the accidents in Kentucky are fatal because someone in the car doesn't wear a seat belt.

The new night-time campaign is cracking down on just that, and officers are hoping fatality rates will go down as a result.

KSP is making sure every drive starts with the click of a seat belt.
If it doesn't, instead of seeing Christmas lights, you'll be seeing police lights.

KSP troopers are enforcing seat belts and child restraints at checkpoints across the state.

"In any collision it will reduce the chance that you will receive any injuries and that's why we want to enforce it because we do know that it does make a difference," said Michael Murriell with KSP.

However, one of the check points may take you by surprise.
Rather than stopping every car or watching from inside a cruiser, a trooper stands at an intersection to check for seat belts as you drive by.
He or she then signals a trooper down the road to pull over any violators.

The importance of a seat belt is nothing new to driver Joshua Thomas, who was stopped during one of these check points.

"For instance, in the car wreck that I was in, I had my two little girls in the back seat. If their car seats hadn't have been strapped down and buckled in, they would have been in the front seat with me," Thomas said.

Troopers hope that safety is what comes to mind, when folks see their holiday lights.

Operation Holiday Lights will continue through Jan. 1.

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