Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Safe Patrol Success Skyrockets
Thousands helped through Transportation Cabinet service
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced that Kentucky’s SAFE Patrol – Safety Assistance for Freeway Emergencies – has assisted more than 2,000 travelers on Kentucky interstates and parkways since an enhanced fleet of vehicles and trained operators rolled out one month ago.
Assistance includes helping stranded motorists, removing debris, directing traffic, and assisting at accident scenes. Operators are trained in first aid and CPR, general vehicle repairs and managing accident scenes, among other things. Their vehicles are four-wheel-drive crew cab trucks equipped with various tools, fire extinguisher, variable message board, first-aid supplies and incident management equipment. Operators can respond to transportation incidents involving cars, trucks, buses, trains – even aircraft.
“This service is one of the best things for travelers,” Jerame Hall, a stranded motorist, wrote on a comment card after being assisted by operator Scott Nevitt. “Not enough thanks can be given. Mr. Nevitt was courteous and very helpful.”
Another driver who was stranded on the Mountain Parkway wrote: “Your worker was a true angel! He was very nice and respectful. Please keep up the wonderful work.”
Anthony Pettit helped a motorist in Russell County whose vehicle broke down on the Cumberland Parkway. “Excellent program, excellent service, very helpful and courteous,” the motorist commented. “We really appreciate the timely arrival and professional assistance Mr. Pettit provided.”
A motorist assisted on I-24 in western Kentucky commented: “The assistance I received recently from this service made me feel good about how my tax dollars are spent. Great program!”
Governor Fletcher and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet launched the SAFE Patrol in October 2004, but it operated in a limited area. Governor Fletcher announced an expanded SAFE Patrol program in August during the Kentucky State Fair. The new vehicles began patrolling Sept. 1.
“The SAFE Patrol has already benefited more than two thousand citizens and visitors in just one month,” Governor Fletcher said. “It’s an exemplary service that translates into peace of mind for our travelers by offering them help if they have a problem on the highway. Government should be about helping people and that’s exactly what this program does.”
The eventual fleet of 27 SAFE Patrol trucks will monitor incidents along all of Kentucky’s five interstates and nine parkways, as well as U.S. 23 and KY 80 in eastern Kentucky. Services will be provided seven days per week from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. Travelers can call 1-877-FOR-KYTC for assistance.
The SAFE Patrol is one of many activities undertaken by the Transportation Cabinet to position Kentucky as a leader in highway safety and efficiency. In 2006, traffic fatalities in Kentucky declined for the first time since 1999, and the fatality rate has continued to decline thus far in 2007.
“Kentucky is one of the few states that provide this service statewide,” said Governor Fletcher. “Through driver education and awareness, roadway improvements, increased seatbelt usage, and programs like SAFE, you’ll see Kentucky remain at the top in terms of highway safety.”