Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
KSP & KDFWR Announce Joint Enforcement Campaign
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife joins Kentucky State Police to combat boating and driving under the influence
Date of News Release: 05/17/2007
Frankfort, Ky. - With National Safe Boating Week beginning Saturday, May 19, and the recreational boating season approaching, two of Kentucky's premiere law enforcement agencies, Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources' Law Enforcement Division, are already at work behind the scenes to curb a key factor in summertime fatalities: alcohol.
"Bottoms Up" can have a whole new meaning when you drink and boat, but the danger doesn't end at the water's edge. Too often, drunken boaters become drunk drivers. In 2006, nearly half of all boating fatalities involved impaired operation; enough to rank Kentucky in the top 10 for alcohol related boating fatalities, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Kentucky State Police statistics indicate that approximately one in four of Kentucky's highway fatalities are related to alcohol use.
To save lives, Kentucky Conservation Officers and Kentucky State Troopers are partnering in a public service effort coined "KISS," which stands for "Keep It a Safe Summer."
The "KISS" message appears on billboards already in place near Kentucky's most popular lakes. Officers from both agencies appear in radio advertisements as well as in a dramatic television commercial highlighting the agencies' mutual concern for alcohol impairment behind the wheel.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Frankfort served as the backdrop for the taping of the television advertisement on Friday, April 27. With uniformed personnel and gleaming patrol cars, trucks and patrol boats set against a scenic fishing lake, Troopers and Conservation Officers affirmatively reminded the cameras, "Drunk boating on the water can become drunk driving on the highway." The ads are scheduled to air during the weeks prior to Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day, all key boating weekends.
"In tandem with radio and strategically placed 'KISS' billboards in lake regions, the message should reach the boating public throughout the summer season," says Sgt. John Anderson, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife's Boating Education Coordinator.
While the two law enforcement arms have shared a long history providing a safe and secure commonwealth, this is the fist time they have joined forces so publicly. "Together, we can make a difference. This isn't a risk unique to our waterways. It can follow you all the way home - if you make it that far," Anderson adds.
"The vast majority of folks who enjoy boating in our state are responsible individuals," notes Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Jon Gassett. "The number of boating deaths however, is on the rise. Often, it's the innocent who pay the price. A single careless act like drinking literally covers two fields of law enforcement. We're working together with one goal in mind: Keep It a Safe Summer."
"Impairment often begins with the first drink," notes Kentucky State Police Commissioner Jack Adams. "But alcohol-related crashes and fatalities are preventable. Driving after drinking is a choice. As citizens, we have the responsibility to make the right and safe choice. Find alternate transportation, use a designated driver or don't consume any amount of alcohol if you intend to operate any type of motor vehicle, whether it be car, truck, motorcycle, ATV or boat."
In Kentucky, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers are the authority in marine law enforcement. Teaming with Kentucky State Police will boost public safety for the state as a whole. Heightened enforcement and increased media awareness will mean fewer lives lost on Kentucky waterways and highways this summer.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. KDFWR, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, has an economic impact to the state of $4.8 billion annually. For more information on KDFWR, visit our web site at fw.ky.gov.
Safe Boating Week Proclamation:
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
WHEREAS, The Commonwealth of Kentucky has more than 180,000 registered recreational boats and thousands of out of state boats visiting Kentucky each year; and
WHEREAS, Nearly half of all boating related fatalities in Kentucky involve alcohol; and
WHEREAS, Most boaters who lose their lives by drowning each year would be alive today had they avoided drinking alcohol and worn life jackets; and
WHEREAS, Modern life jackets are more attractive and comfortable to wear than styles of years past and deserve a fresh look by today's boating public;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ERNIE FLETCHER, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, do hereby proclaim ~ May 19-25, 2007, as SAFE BOATING WEEK in Kentucky.
DONE AT THE CAPITOL, in the City of Frankfort this l0th day of May, in the year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seven and in the 215th year of the Commonwealth.