Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Highway Safety Advocates Give Kentucky Their Highest Ranking

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, January 09, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611

David Devers
502-564-3419
 


Recognition Based on Landmark Legislative Year in 2006

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky earns a “green light” and is recognized as a top-performing state by a national highway safety advocacy group.  Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety identified Kentucky as one of only 16 green light states and one of only four “Best Performance States” in its fourth annual highway safety report.  The ranking is based on the passage of at least two additional highway safety laws in 2006.

“From day one of this administration, a principal focus has been to save lives on Kentucky’s roadways,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “Governor Fletcher championed three critical pieces of highway safety legislation in 2006. We’re beginning to see the tangible results of the Governor’s leadership, with lower highway fatality numbers. Others around the nation are beginning to take note of Kentucky’s highway safety initiatives, too, and we’re very grateful for the recognition from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.”

In Kentucky, 2006 was a landmark year in terms of highway safety legislation. In addition to the passage of a primary seatbelt law, the centerpiece of the Highway Safety Legislative package, the 2006 Kentucky legislative session yielded House Bill 90, which expanded Kentucky’s Graduated Driver’s License Program. Kentucky has had one of the highest teen crash rates in the nation, and HB90 created an intermediate period of six months between a learner’s permit and a full, unrestricted license.

Another measure which became law in 2006 was House Bill 272, Kentucky’s “Quick Clearance” law. It addresses the problems of motorist safety as well as clogged interstates and parkways following traffic accidents. The law also codifies incident management procedures for “Quick Clearance.”

“While there is still much work to do, Kentucky deserves special kudos for passing several important safety laws in 2006,” said Advocates President Judie Stone.  “Paramount among them is primary enforcement of Kentucky’s seatbelt law and the excellent teen driving measures that were adopted. Kentucky now deserves our “green” rating. Congratulations, Kentucky.”

The “green” rating is the highest of three Advocates’ ratings based on a state’s adoption of optimal safety laws.  A “yellow” Advocates rating signals the need for improvement in a particular state. A “red’ rating is assigned when a state falls seriously behind in safety-related legislation.

“While we lost 79 fewer lives on the roadways of this Commonwealth last year, compared to 2005, we are striving for much lower fatality rates in 2007” said Commissioner of Transportation Safety, Tim Hazlette.“ We will leave no stone unturned in our effort to find ways to save more lives. We also want the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety to see ‘green’ every time they see Kentucky.”

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, based in Washington, D.C., is a coalition of insurance, consumer, health, safety and law enforcement organizations that work together to advance state and national highway and safety policies. The complete “2007 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws” report can be found at: www.saferoads.org.


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