KENTUCKY STRIVES TO “PUT THE BRAKES ON FATALITIES” October 10th Proclaimed “Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day” in Kentucky and Across the Nation
FRANKFORT, KY (October 9, 2006) – Bolstered with a gubernatorial proclamation and encouraged by favorable new statistics, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and highway safety groups are encouraged by the recent trend in highway fatalities on the state’s roadways. Fewer people are being killed in traffic crashes. Tomorrow, representatives from the KYTC will spread their highway safety messages to radio and television audiences across the state as part of a “Put the Brakes on Fatalities” media blitz. Newspaper reporters are also writing stories on this life and death issue.
Governor Fletcher’s proclamation reads, in part:
“Whereas traffic crashes cause more than 42,000 fatalities each year and are the leading cause of death for people ages 6 to 33; and Whereas safer driving behaviors such as the use of seat belts, not drinking and driving and obeying traffic laws would dramatically reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths; Now, Therefore, I, Ernie Fletcher, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, do hereby proclaim October 10, 2006 as Put THE BRAKES ON FATALITIES DAY in Kentucky.”
“Every morning, I read that sobering e-mail which gives me the daily fatality report in Kentucky,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “Today we are very encouraged to see that approximately 80 fewer fatalities have occurred on Kentucky roadways to date than occurred during the same period last year. The new highway safety measures championed by Governor Fletcher and approved by our Legislature are already yielding results, and this is only the beginning.”
Earlier this year, Governor Fletcher signed three significant measures into law, all of which took aim at the alarming fatality rates in Kentucky:
-House Bill 117 includes Primary Seatbelt legislation. This legislation alone is expected to save at least 62 lives each year.
-House Bill 90 expands Kentucky’s Graduated Driver’s License program (GDL). The goal of this law, which just took effect on October 1, is to curb the overall number of crashes involving teenage drivers, especially those that result in death.
-House Bill 272 addresses the problems of motorist safety as well as the issue of clogged interstates and parkways following traffic accidents. The law codifies incident management procedures for “Quick Clearance.” The “Quick Clearance” law is very important from a safety standpoint because an estimated 20% of all accidents nationwide involve secondary crashes.
Governor Fletcher took an additional step in July to boost the campaign to save lives, when he issued the executive order to establish the Department of Transportation Safety within the Transportation Cabinet. The new department now oversees Kentucky’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which emphasizes the effort to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Kentucky’s roadways.
“Highway safety is a shared responsibility,” stated Department of Transportation Safety Commissioner Tim Hazlette. “We’re focusing on education and awareness campaigns to promote highway safety measures which will make a difference.” Commissioner Hazlette further pointed out the necessity of changing driving habits. “Statistics show that about 42,000 traffic fatalities occur every year. That’s about 115 fatalities every single day—one fatality every 13 minutes. Everyone has the responsibility to help save lives.”
Transportation Cabinet personnel in all twelve districts will blanket the state tomorrow with a Radio and TV Blitz to spread the overall highway safety message.
Put the Brakes of Fatalities Facts
-Nearly 130,000 crashes occurred in Kentucky in 2005, resulting in 985 deaths and nearly 44,000 injuries.
-69% of those vehicle occupants killed were not wearing a safety belt. (560 of 811)
-33% of those vehicle occupants suffering incapacitating injuries were not wearing a safety belt. (1645 of 4981)
-24% of the vehicle occupants who were either totally or partially ejected were killed. (242 of 1021 – not including motorcyclists)
-There were 227 alcohol-related fatal collisions.(2004 = 230, 2005=227)
-There were 245 persons killed in alcohol-related collisions. (2004=271, 2005=245)
-From 2001-2005, 59% of all fatalities involved vehicles leaving the proper lane of travel and striking another vehicle, or a fixed object, with the vehicle subsequently overturning.
-Teenage drivers represent 6% of Kentucky drivers, yet, they are involved in 16% of all fatal collisions and 21% of all injury collisions.
For more information about “Putting the Brakes on Fatalities” you are invited to visit one of the following websites: