Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement
KVE Moves to Justice & Public Safety Cabinet
On June 16, 2004, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement moved from a division under the department of Vehicle Regulation in the Transportation Cabinet to become a department in the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, under the direction of Lt. Governor Stephen B. Pence and Deputy Secretary Cleveland Gambill. Gregory G. Howard remained the head of the agency and was appointed the commissioner of the new Department of Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement. KVE is currently organized into three divisions: Field Operations, Administration and Special Operations. KVE has a total of 146 sworn and 116 civilian personnel divided between 10 regions across the state, special operations, and headquarters staff.
Commissioner Howard believes this move will benefit KVE in several ways, but mostly by having the agency report to the cabinet that has primary responsibility for law enforcement in the state. “This new alignment should better support KVE’s mission through its wider influence as a department, and reporting to the officials that are attuned to the demands and challenges of law enforcement. In addition KVE remains closely associated with the Transportation Cabinet and their Department of Vehicle Regulation,” Howard said.
KVE will continue in its support of the regulation of commercial vehicle traffic with its staffing of the fixed-scale facilities with clerks and certified commercial motor vehicle inspectors. KVE screened more than eight million trucks for weight violations in the federal fiscal year ending in September 2004. KVE also conducts motor carrier compliance reviews and the safety audits required of new motor carriers by the federal government. In addition to these activities, KVE’s Special Operations Division is naturally known for its drug interdiction activities, and as a training resource for drug interdiction programs in other states and Canada.
Officers with the KVE promote the safety of travelers on the state’s highways through the enforcement of the Kentucky vehicle laws and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
“Although the focus of KVE is commercial traffic, KVE officers can take enforcement action whenever necessary for the public safety, regardless of the type of vehicle,” Howard said. “Research has shown that in a majority of truck crashes caused by a driver’s action, it is not the truck driver that is the cause, but the driver of a passenger car. The occupants of a car are far more likely to be injured or killed in a collision with a heavy truck. Of particular concern to KVE officers are offences that involve impaired driving, speeding and aggressive driving behaviors such as improper passing, unsafe lane changes and following too closely.” A KVE officer was recognized at the Governor’s DUI Awards Banquet in December for having the most DUI arrests for any officer in Kentucky in 2003.
Commissioner Howard looks to KVE’s continued progress in 2005, with the start towards accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, continuing coal truck enforcement and development of a CMV collision reconstruction team. KVE will also continue development of partnerships with Kentucky State Police, Drug Enforcement Administration, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Kentucky Transportation, the Department of Energy, and the trucking industry to promote safer travel on our highways.