TRANSPORTATION CABINET INVESTS MORE THAN $2 MILLION IN SAFETY PROGRAMS
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is moving full speed ahead with several initiatives aimed at improving safety on Kentucky's roadways. This $2.2 million is being invested in programs to drive down the fatality rate, reduce impaired driving and increase safety belt usage.
The cabinet’s safety measures are in conjunction with the Drive Smart Corridor Safety Program and Safety Management initiatives.
"The number of fatalities on our roadways has steadily increased over the past five years. We are committed to changing this trend," said acting Secretary Bill Nighbert. "This funding supports our mission to improving safety and providing a safer and more reliable transportation system for all Kentuckians.”
In September 2004, Governor Fletcher established the Governor’s Executive Committee on Highway Safety, with the goal of developing strategies for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries. The Transportation Cabinet’s Drive Smart Safety Corridors are one of the Committee’s emphasis areas and have been identified in each highway district. These corridors have a high rate of collisions, fatalities and injuries and the safety teams are using a combination of engineering, enforcement, education and emergency response to reduce these fatalities and injuries.
“We want to work with every agency and organization in Kentucky to promote highway safety,” said Boyd Sigler, Highway Safety Operations Manager for the Cabinet. “It’s our belief that building cooperative safety partnerships and using a data-driven approach to develop and implement effective highway safety strategies is the key to saving lives.”
So far, this year the cabinet has participated in numerous school and community safety events with it’s Ghost Out, Mock Crash, Rollover Simulator and Child Passenger Safety Programs. The cabinet has also partnered with state and local law enforcement to provide radar trailers, targeted enforcement area signs and traffic safety checkpoint trailers for the Operation Drive Smart Enforcement Blitzes.
The cabinet has also created and distributed statewide public service announcements, posters and brochures to increase highway safety awareness; conducted safety belt surveys and installed “Buckle Up” signs at numerous high schools with low safety belt usage rates; and conducted Road Safety Audits to identify and make safety improvements along the corridors.
Many Kentucky motorists traveling this summer are noticing the Drive Smart Safety Corridor signs and radar trailers along the following routes:
US 60 – Ballard, McCracken, Livingston, Crittenden Counties
US 60 – Union, Henderson, Daviess, Hancock Counties
US 31W – Simpson, Warren, Barren, Edmonson Counties
US 31W – Hart, Larue, Hardin, Meade Counties
US 60 – Jefferson, Shelby, Franklin Counties
US 25 – Grant, Boone, Kenton Counties
US 27 – Garrard, Jessamine, Fayette, Bourbon Counties
US 27 – McCreary, Pulaski, Lincoln Counties
US 60 – Bath, Rowan, Carter, Boyd Counties
AA Highway – Pendleton, Bracken, Mason, Lewis, Carter, Greenup Counties
KY 15 – Perry, Breathitt, Wolfe, Menifee Counties
US 421 – Harlan, Leslie, Clay, Jackson Counties
US 23 – Letcher, Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Lawrence Counties
"We have committed this funding to increase the overall awareness of highway safety issues in Kentucky and our efforts are beginning to show indications they are paying off,” said Commissioner Marc Williams, Department of Highways. “Our current statewide fatality numbers are the lowest they have been since 2001 and Governor Fletcher has challenged us to see this trend continues through the rest of 2005."