Department of Highways, District 10
Drive Smart Highway Safety Program Seeks to Cut Traffic Accidents on Busy Eastern Kentucky Highway; Enforcement Blitz Scheduled for KY 15 in Wolfe, Breathitt and Perry Counties April 15-21
JACKSON, KY. – (April 3, 2006) -- In an attempt to reduce the number of traffic accidents on a busy eastern Kentucky road, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Operation Drive Smart will be emphasizing highway safety during a weeklong effort along KY 15 in Wolfe, Breathitt and Perry counties.
The KY 15 Safety Corridor blitz will begin Saturday, April 15 and will run through Friday, April 21, which includes the Easter weekend. Special education and law enforcement activities will seek to increase compliance with Kentucky's traffic laws while decreasing crashes. This effort is aimed at cutting the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities along a highway that carries a high volume of personal and commercial traffic through Kentucky's mountains.
The safety corridor and blitz area runs along KY 15 and the KY 15 Spur from the Mountain Parkway in Wolfe County near Campton to the Perry-Knott county line south of Hazard. This section of KY 15 is primarily a two-lane route, with passing lanes on hills and some four-lane sections in Perry County. The speed limit is 55 mph in rural areas, with lower speed limits in the Campton, Jackson and Hazard areas.
Working with KYTC's Division of Driver Safety and the Kentucky River Area Development District, law enforcement agencies in the three counties will aggressively patrol KY 15. The officers will be looking for drivers committing offenses such as speeding, reckless driving, improper passing and driving under the influence. Violations such as failure to wear seat belts, improperly restraining children, having improper equipment or failure to have insurance will be strictly enforced during the blitz.
Participating agencies include Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, Jackson Police Department, Hazard Police Department, Wolfe County's Sheriff's Office, Breathitt County Sheriff's Office and Perry County Sheriff's Office.
During the blitz, portable visual radar units will be placed along KY 15 to notify drivers of their speed as a reminder for them to obey the posted speed limit. Electronic message boards will also be used to alert drivers to the enforcement emphasis.
A portion of the KY 15 corridor in Breathitt County is in a construction zone, as a $36 million project to upgrade the route to a four-lane highway progresses. The speed limit has been lowered to 45 mph in the areas impacted by the work zone. Special emphasis is being placed on work zone safety throughout Kentucky in April, and safety in the KY 15 work zone will be the subject of increased attention during this period.
The KY 15 Safety Corridor is one of 13 corridors identified for special emphasis in collision reduction through a data-driven process by the Governor's Executive Committee on Highway Safety. Other initiatives that have been undertaken along the corridor include surveying high school students on their seat belt usage habits and installing signs reminding drivers to buckle up at the exits to several high school campuses, and installing signs noting KY 15's designation as an official safety corridor.
Visit http://drivesmart.ky.gov for more information on safety corridors and other Drive Smart programs.