Department of Highways, District 6
New Drive Smart Buckle Up Signs Unveiled at Pendleton County High School
Signs Reinforce Safety Message
Covington, Kentucky. --- (December 4, 2006) — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officially unveiled the new “Drive Smart, Buckle Up PCHS” signs at Pendleton County High School today. Signs were placed at the school’s exits to encourage students, parents, school staff and the general public to buckle-up.
“Through Governor Ernie Fletcher’s leadership, the Commonwealth now has a primary seatbelt law in place to protect you and your family,” said Commissioner Tim Hazlette, Kentucky Department of Transportation Safety. “These signs serve as an important reminder to simply take time to ‘Buckle up and Drive Smart.’”
The Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Transportation Safety recently conducted a safety belt survey at the school. The results indicated that 52% drivers and passengers were wearing their seatbelts. Another safety belt survey will be conducted in three months.
The Department of Transportation Safety’s goal is to reduce fatalities, injuries and economic costs of traffic collisions by using a data-driven approach to identify highway safety emphasis areas throughout the state. Teen drivers represent 6% of the driving population; they make up 20% of all driving collisions, 21% of all injury collisions and 16% of all fatal collisions.
“The Transportation Cabinet is providing several safety initiatives through engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response to reduce the numbers and severity of those crashes,” said Nancy Wood, who is the local Drive Smart Coordinator. “The Buckle Up signs are another tool in which we hope to educate students, and others who drive onto the high school campus, about the benefits of wearing a seatbelt.”
2006 has been an historic year for highway safety measures in Kentucky. Primary Seatbelt legislation, considered the most important tool to reduce highway fatalities and serious injuries, had the unwavering support of Governor Ernie Fletcher and was approved by the legislature. The Governor also supported Quick Clearance and Graduated Driver’s License bills. Both are now new laws and both are helping to make Kentucky highways safer. As a result, lives are being saved.
Those safety measures championed by Governor Fletcher are already yielding results. Highway fatalities are currently at a five year low, and approximately 72 fewer fatalities have been reported, year-to-date, compared to 2005.
Research from the University of Kentucky’s Transportation Center and from the Kentucky Institute of Medicine reveals the dramatic impact that the primary seat belt law will have on Kentucky families and the state’s economy:
-At least 62 fewer fatalities per year
-388 fewer incapacitating spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries
-1,051 fewer non-incapacitating injuries from accidents involving passenger vehicles and light trucks
-Kentucky’s Medicaid budget would save a minimum of $40.9 million over 10 years, including $2.2 million the first year and $585,000 per year for long-term medical care
-Kentucky would save $324 million in comprehensive costs (lost life years and productivity).
The Division of Transportation Safety, Drive Smart and local officals along with the Pendleton County Senior Counsel stand by the new PCHS Buckle Up sign.