Department of Highways, District 10
Department of Highways District 10 Observes Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day With Event at KSP Post 13 in Hazard

Press Release Date:  Friday, October 14, 2005  
Contact Information:  H.B. ELKINS
(606) 666-8841

JACKSON, KY – (Oct. 14, 2005) -- The fifth annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day was observed on Monday, Oct. 10. A special ceremony focusing on driver safety was held in Frankfort to mark the day, and events across the state during the week supported the effort, including a Friday event in Hazard.

"Whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist we can and must all work together to reduce fatalities on Kentucky's roadways," said Deputy Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Adams. "We have to know and believe that we really can make a difference in this effort to save lives." Adams also encouraged the public to take a firmer stand in keeping themselves and their loved ones from becoming a dreaded statistic and emphasized the Cabinet's ongoing commitment to providing a safe and reliable transportation system for the Commonwealth.

"We commend the innovative programs that the Governor's Executive Committee on Highway Safety, of which we are a part, has launched here in Kentucky to curb the destructive trends on our highways," stated Greg Howard, Commissioner for Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement. "Each year over 40,000 people lose their lives in traffic accidents in this country. Last year, alone 964 perished in Kentucky."

Ned Sheehy, President and CEO of Kentucky Motor Transport Association and member of the Governor's Executive Committee on Highway Safety addressed the responsibility each citizen has to adopt safe driving habits, buckle up and properly maintain their vehicles. "Imagine each day with ZERO traffic fatalities in Kentucky," said Sheehy. "Each of us has a responsibility to do everything we can to achieve that goal."

Across Kentucky, each of the 12 district offices of the Kentucky Department of Highways sponsored events during the week in support of Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day. In District 10, the Division of Driver Safety's Drive Smart program, the Kentucky River Area Development District and the Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard teamed up to sponsor a demonstration of Drive Smart's rollover simulator at the state police post on Friday, Oct. 14. District 10 includes the counties of Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Powell and Wolfe.

The rollover simulator uses life-sized dummies to demonstrate what can happen to motor vehicle occupants involved in a rollover crash, both unbuckled and buckled. Unbuckled, the dummies are ejected from the simulator as it rolls. Buckled, the dummies remain safely restrained.

"The good news is that by taking proactive steps, the public can greatly reduce the odds of becoming a statistic. First and foremost, drive as if your life depends on it," Ron Easter, District 10 Drive Smart coordinator, said. "Driving defensively, obeying the posted speed limits, slowing down in bad weather and in special construction and school zones and not drinking and driving are just a few examples of how drivers can reduce their chances of being in a crash." Other important safety practices include buckling up every time on every trip, using appropriate child safety seats, wearing a helmet when cycling or skating and crossing the street in crosswalks, Easter added.

Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day was begun by the National Society of Professional Engineers and is now coordinated by a coalition of more than 40 national safety organizations, federal, state and local government agencies and private sector companies,