Kentucky Speedway has partnered with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) in 2016 to sponsor the Thursday, July 7 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The partnership is centered on the “Buckle Up in Your Truck” (BUIYT) campaign to bring awareness to seatbelt use in pickup trucks. The Camping World Truck Series Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 will kick off a NASCAR tripleheader weekend.
“We have been partners with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety and the ‘Click It or Ticket’ program for many years and are proud of the success they have achieved in seat belt usage. Sponsorship of our truck race is a natural fit for the BUIYT campaign. Our goal is to do for trucks what we have done for cars; raise awareness and save lives,” said Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger.
The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety’s BUIYT campaign, an aspect of safety within the Transportation Cabinet, works in conjunction with “Click It or Ticket” program. Their research found that drivers and occupants of pickup trucks were less likely to use their safety belt than in any other type of vehicle.
By using the Camping World Truck Series race as a platform the goal is to increase public awareness of the lack of safety belt use in pickup trucks, educate drivers to buckle up and diminish fatalities.
In Kentucky, the seat belt usage rate for pickup trucks is 79 percent, compared to 88 percent for passenger cars. While rollover crashes can happen in any type of vehicle, pickup trucks are twice as likely to rollover as passenger cars. In addition, pickup truck drivers have the lowest level of seat belt use among drivers of all other vehicles nationwide.
“There are too many people dying on our roads,” said Highway Safety executive director Bill Bell. “Many of those lives could have been saved with the simple snap of a seat belt. By working in tandem with the track, the message of safety by Buckling Up in Your Truck will be enhanced.”
Of the 521 motor vehicle fatalities recorded by law enforcement in Kentucky last year, 347 were coded in crash reports as a light truck, which includes vans, SUVs and pickup trucks.
“Seat belts greatly reduce the risk of ejection, which is common in rollover crashes with unbelted occupants,” said Bell. “Being thrown to safety in a crash is almost impossible. Your best bet for survival is to be securely held in place by the seat belt.”
The 2016 season will begin in July with the return of a NASCAR tripleheader weekend that is anchored by the July 9 Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts for the sixth time in series track history. The Camping World Truck Series Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 will get the tripleheader race weekend started Thursday night, July 7 and the XFINITY Series Alsco 300 is Friday night, July 8.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series will make its second appearance at the track next season Saturday, Sept. 24 for a 300-mile event along with the ARCA Racing Series Crosley 150 to conclude a September weekend of racing at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.