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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Public Affairs Branch (502) 782-1780

State Police Agencies Unite For Labor Day "Zero for 24" Initiative

Date of News Release: 08/31/2006

An image of Lt. Col. Dean Hayes, director of the Kentucky State Police Operations Division, spoke at a news conference in Atlanta, Ga. on Aug. 30 to kick off the "Zero for 24" Labor Day traffic safety initiative. The campaign has a goal of zero alcohol-related highway fatalities during the 24-hour holiday on Sept. 4. (FRANKFORT, Ky.) - The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is teaming up with state police and highway patrol agencies in seven southeastern states for a special Labor Day effort designed to save lives by targeting impaired drivers. The effort is a part of the "Operation C.A.R.E." (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) initiative.

Designated "Zero For Twenty-four," the program has a goal of zero alcohol-related traffic fatalities during the 24-hour period from midnight on Sunday, Sept. 3 to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 4.

During this time period, Kentucky State Troopers and their fellow officers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee will boost their presence on highways and increase activities to detect impaired drivers and remove them from the road.

"We welcome the opportunity to join efforts with our fellow agencies throughout the region in this noble cause," says KSP Commissioner Jack Adams. "It's an opportunity to save many lives that represent valuable human potential for communities throughout the state and region."

"As of August 30, Kentucky's highway fatality statistics indicate that we have lost 35 fewer lives this year than last year at this time," notes Adams. "We are certainly encouraged by this number and we will continue to work diligently to reduce highway fatalities even further."

During the "Zero for 24" event, and throughout the Labor Day holiday period, the Kentucky State Police will be closely coordinating its highway safety enforcement efforts throughout the state for maximum coverage. This activity will include safety checkpoints, saturation patrols and radar and laser details.

"We'll be giving extra emphasis to interstates, secondary corridors and local highways, especially in high-crash, high-traffic locations," says Lt. Col. Dean Hayes, KSP director of operations.

Additional patrols are also planned around recreational areas, lakes and boat ramps.

"We also plan to deploy the bulk of our sworn officers for traffic enforcement duties during this time period to further extend our reach," he adds.

Hayes points out that Kentucky has a "no tolerance policy" regarding driving while impaired. "Impairment can begin with the first drink," he says. "Impaired drivers will be arrested, there will be no warnings or second chances."

"Impaired driving is a violent crime. It's against the law and it's enforced," says Commissioner Adams. "Arrest and conviction on impaired driving violations can result in court costs, legal fees, higher auto insurance rates, fines, loss of license and even imprisonment. Don't take the chance. It's not worth the risk."

The "Zero for Twenty-four" event is sponsored by Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), a coalition of state law enforcement agencies dedicated to reducing human suffering on the highways, particularly during national holidays. Since 1977, the organization has worked to deter the three major causes of highway fatalities: speeding, impaired driving and failure to use seat belts.

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