Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
"Quick Clearance" Bill Sails Through Senate
Legislation addresses need to get interstates and parkways moving after accidents
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Senate yesterday gave its consent to “Quick Clearance” legislation, which addresses the problems of safety for motorists and clogged interstates following traffic accidents. This action by the Senate removes the last legislative obstacle between House Bill 272 and the Governor’s desk.
House Bill 272 (the House version of Senate Bill 44, which passed January 24th) codifies incident management procedures known as “Quick Clearance.” “Quick Clearance” is defined as the practice of rapidly and safely removing temporary obstructions from the roadway.
“Highway safety is a top priority for this administration,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “We congratulate the Senate for taking this very important step.”
Governor Fletcher also noted the effect this legislation could have on the state’s economy. “This is the era of ‘just-in-time delivery.’ Getting accidents handled quickly lessens the associated damage that lengthy backups cause for Kentucky’s economy,” he said.
State Representative David Osborne (R-Prospect), who cosponsored the bill, stressed the safety aspect of this legislation. “By making sure these accidents are quickly moved out of the way, we can prevent additional accidents which may result from traffic congestion,” Osborne said. “This bill is very important when you consider that an estimated 20 percent of all accidents nationwide are secondary crashes.”(Secondary accidents occur because of backup situations and because of a driver’s reaction to an existing accident scene.) “We will also be reducing the risk to people standing around vehicles at the accident site,” Osborne added.
Speaker of the House Jody Richards (D-Bowling Green), who also cosponsored the legislation, provided his view of the bill’s importance to the state’s economy. “When our interstates are clogged because of accidents, time is lost, connections and appointments are missed, deliveries are delayed, and the costs, both directly and indirectly can be substantial,” Speaker Richards said. “This bill speaks directly to those problems.”
Senator Gary Tapp (R-Waddy) sponsored identical legislation in the Senate. Senator Tapp underlined the importance of the “Quick Clearance” bill relative to economic activity in the Commonwealth. “This is just another step in making Kentucky a business-friendly state, while protecting our citizens at the same time. I appreciate the administration’s support for a really good piece of legislation.”
“This is a common sense bill that will get both the cars and the endangered motorists off the road and out of the way of annoyed drivers,” said Senator Ed Worley (D-Richmond), who is the Senate Minority Floor Leader. “This bill is long overdue.”
The next stop for the “Quick Clearance” bill is the Governor’s office, where it will be signed into law.