The "Drive Smart! Buckle Up Kentucky 150" will mark the beginning of a three-week Kentucky Transportation Cabinet information and enforcement Click It or Ticket campaign that will encourage seat belt usage statewide.

Opening day activities at Kentucky Speedway May 10 will include a reminders to motorists to drive smart, wear a seat belt and follow the rules of the road.

Despite a wealth of data showing that seat belts save lives - and also despite implementation of a primary seat belt law - Kentucky remains at the bottom nationally in seat belt usage rates, at 67 percent. The annual enforcement campaign, which begins May 19, will attempt to change that as officers buckle down on those not buckled up.

"It's always a pleasure to partner with the Kentucky Speedway," KYTC's Highway Safety Programs Director Boyd Sigler said. "They've been a huge supporter in our efforts to increase awareness for our highway safety initiatives."

Checkpoints will be conducted throughout Kentucky during the mobilization. Those not buckled up will receive a citation. But people who are wearing a seat belt will receive a different kind of ticket - a "Click It FOR Tickets" voucher. Those who are following the rules of the road can register to win one set of twelve tickets to the Kentucky Speedway. Two sets of tickets will be available to the NASCAR Nationwide Series on June 14, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on July 19, and the IndyCar Series on Aug. 9.

Seventy-two percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were involved in a fatal crash in 2006, but who were buckled up, survived. When worn correctly, seat belts are proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent - and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans.

"The majority of those who still don't use their seat belts are men 18 to 34," Sigler said. "Many of those people are also race fans. So, this race is a great opportunity for us to reach a very specific audience. But, Click It or Ticket is not about writing tickets. It's about saving lives."

Speedway gates will open at 3:00 p.m., on May 10 with ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series qualifying on the paved quarter-mile track. ARCA RE/MAX Series qualifying follows at 3:30 p.m., and the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series returns for the "Kentucky 100" at 5:00 p.m. Rising country music force Rissi Palmer will perform on the Turn 1 Concourse at 6:30 p.m. before ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers take the green flag for the "Drive Smart! Buckle-Up Kentucky 150" at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets can be reserved online through the Tickets pages of this Web site, by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223), through Meijer stores and outlets and by visiting the Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 400 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 100, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., next to the Montgomery Inn Restaurant or the Sparta, Ky., Fan Center located off of Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N.

~ Kentucky Speedway ~