Department of Highways, District 11
US 421 Safety Corridor Blitz scheduled for District 11 Drive Smart enforcement effort March 23-29 in Clay, Jackson, Leslie, Harlan counties

Press Release Date:  Friday, March 14, 2008  
Contact Information:  Sandy Rudder
District 11-Manchester

MANCHESTER, KY — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety has a message for motorists traveling along the US 421 corridor: Wear your seat belts, obey the speed limits and don’t drive while intoxicated!

 To reinforce that message and reduce the number of traffic crashes, the cabinet’s Drive Smart Program will be coordinating the US 421 Safety Corridor Blitz during a weeklong effort beginning Sunday, March 23 in Clay, Harlan, Jackson and Leslie counties.

  The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, Cumberland Valley and Kentucky River area development districts, Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement and local law enforcement are coordinating the blitz.  Also participating are the Harlan, Hyden, Manchester and McKee police departments and the Harlan, Leslie, Clay and Jackson county sheriff’s departments.

 Officers will aggressively patrol US 421 and establish traffic safety checkpoints along the highway in an effort to reduce vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities. Officers will be looking for drivers committing offenses such as speeding, reckless driving, improper passing and driving under the influence.

 The safety corridor and blitz area begins at the Madison-Jackson county line and extends to the Harlan County border with Virginia. US 421 is a two-lane route with a speed limit of 55 mph and lower speed limits through the McKee, Manchester, Hyden, Harlan areas and any construction zones.

 Portable visual speed radar units will be placed along the corridor in each county beginning March 17 to notify drivers of their speed and remind them to comply with the posted speed limit.  Electronic message boards and orange diamond signs stating that drivers are in a “target enforcement area” will also be used to alert drivers to the enforcement emphasis.

 The Enforcement Blitz is planned for the week of March 23.  This operation will focus on reducing the extent of contributing factors involved in vehicle crashes such as speeding, improper passing and other aggressive, reckless and moving hazardous traffic violations.

 “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,” said Chuck Knowles, acting commissioner of the Department of Transportation Safety.  “Our goal, however, is not just to write tickets, but to improve safety along the route.”

 The US 421 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, installing signs reminding drivers to buckle up at the exits to high school campuses along the corridor and installing signs noting US 421’s designation as an official safety corridor. The goal of the highway safety program is to save lives, reduce fatalities, injuries and property damage crashes on Kentucky’s highways. 

 Visit for more information on safety corridors and other Drive Smart programs.