Department of Highways, District 6
Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day at Dixie Heights High School
Put the Brakes on Fatalities Event at Dixie Heights High School
Educating Kentucky Drivers to be Smart Behind the Wheel
Covington, Kentucky – (October 12, 2005) – Statistics showed that over 42,000 people in the United States lose their life in a highway accident each year. That’s 116 fatalities every single day- one fatality every 13 minutes. In 2004 there were 964 people who lost their life on Kentucky’s highways. To date, highway fatalities have reached 747 in 2005, which is two more than this time last year. That is someone’s mother, father, son, daughter or friend. Imagine a day with zero traffic fatalities and Put the Brakes on Fatalities!
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has proclaimed October 10, 2005 as Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day and has chosen to make this emphasis weeklong. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Districts’ have been hosting events across the state. Its purpose is to encourage the public to take a greater stand in keeping themselves and loved ones from becoming a statistic. The goal is to unite in achieving one full day of zero traffic deaths by encouraging safer driving behaviors and actions and promoting safer roadways. October was selected for the new safety observance because it is among the peak months for traffic fatalities.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District Six held a Put the Brakes on Fatalities Event this morning at Dixie Heights High School. Several juniors and seniors were invited. “We wanted to grab the attention of the new young drivers,” said Nancy Wood, Public Information Officer for District 6, “we want to promote safe driving habits and attitudes so that teen drivers can be safe drivers.” Wood continued, “Too many people think that “it” can’t happen to them, but it can. To date there are 75 teen fatalities in Kentucky. We want those numbers to decrease.”
It takes engineering, enforcement, education and emergency response all working together to bring about the improvements we want to see. The good news is that by taking pro-active steps, the public can greatly reduce the odds of becoming a statistic.
Boyd Sigler, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Highway Safety Operations Manager, stressed the need for people to slow down, wear your seatbelt and don’t drive impaired. “Impaired driving could be caused by drugs, alcohol or sleepiness,” said Sigler. ”Sixteen to twenty-four year olds make 15% of Kentucky drivers and are involved in 28% of the total crashes and 23% of the fatal crashes. Sigler continued, “Sixteen to nineteen year old drivers represent 6% of Kentucky drivers and are involved in 16% of the fatal crashes and 21% of the injury collisions.”
Bob Douglas, Executive Director of the Kentucky Crime Coalition and the Governor’s Highway Safety Law Enforcement Liaison said, “You have the opportunity every day to make responsible decisions, using your seat belt, obeying speed limits and traffic laws. All drivers need to be alert to road conditions and surroundings.” He also reminded that “as winter approaches now is the time to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. Now is a great time to check the safety equipment and tires on your vehicle.”
Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that lap/shoulder seat belts can reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger vehicle occupants by 45 percent. Yet only 70 percent of Americans buckle up. Even more troubling, 61 percent of children ages 15 and under killed in motor vehicle crashes in 1999 were completely unrestrained. Another troubling statistic is that 38 percent of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related.
To promote safer driving habits for the teens at Dixie, the Drive Smart Program presented Dixie Heights High School with a “Buckle Up” sign. The sign will help remind students to click their seatbelts before leaving the school campus. Wearing a seatbelt can greatly increase your survival in a car crash. In over half of the fatalities this year, no seatbelt were worn.
So remember to Drive Smart…..everyday.
Boyd Sigler, Highway Safety Manager, speaks to Dixie Heights High School students on highway safety.
Boyd Sigler addresses teen drivers at Dixie Heights High Schoolabout being a responsible driver and a safe driver.
Bob Douglas, Executive Director of the Kentucky Crime Prevention Coalition and Law Enforcement Liaison to Northern Kentucky joined in the message by encouraging seatbelt usage.
Dixie Heights High School students unveiled their new Buckle Up sign that was installed to be a reminder when they leave the school campus to click their seatbelts