The Leitchfield Police Department has released the results of its 2015 Highway Safety Grant, which funded federal overtime for Leitchfield police officers to enforce traffic laws.
Leitchfield Police Department (LPD) officers worked a total of 266 hours of federal overtime during the 2015 Highway Safety Grant, which totaled $12,500, and participated in two campaigns: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket.
During that time, officers made 25 DUI arrests and issued 298 seatbelt citations, according to Riley.
A common misconception in regards to the LPD’s participation in highway safety campaigns is that officers are required to issue a certain number of tickets or citations per month.
“That’s a myth,” Riley said. “We’re not doing this to hassle the public, but to provide safer roads. We’re trying to make the roads and city safer.”
As evidenced by the results of the Highway Safety Grant, the work has been successful.
Riley said seatbelt usage in Leitchfield, prior to officers’ participation in federally funded overtime, was at 82 percent. After the conclusion of the grant, based on the LPD’s monthly seatbelt survey, local seatbelt usage rose to about 85 percent.
The results of the Highway Safety Grant also determined that May, June, July, and August saw the highest number of DUI arrests made, as well as the highest number of seatbelt citations issued, according to Riley.
The rise in arrests and citations issued during this period is a result of increased traffic in the summer months, Riley said.
The LPD was required to set a number of goals it wished to accomplish during the 2015 Highway Safety Grant, and further statistics will be released following state feedback on these goals.
Riley said the LPD’s goals for the grant were as follows:
1. To decrease the number of impaired driving crashes by 15 percent.
2. To increase seatbelt enforcement for better public safety.
3. To decrease injuries as a result of speeding-related crashes.
4. To increase speeding enforcement.
The LPD’s efforts to make Leitchfield’s roadways safer for citizens and visitors will continue through 2016, as well.
Riley said that the LPD has already received a 2016 Highway Safety Grant in the sum of $16,000—an additional $3,500 over the previous year that will fund even more federal overtime for officers and increase officer participation.
The 2016 Highway Safety Grant funding is expected to be approved for use by mid- to late-November.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.