Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
KSP Asking Drivers to Plan Ahead and Buckle Up Over Memorial Day Holiday Weekend
Date of News Release: 05/25/2012
(FRANKFORT, Ky.)--- The Kentucky State Police report an increase in fatal highway crashes by 12 percent from 2011. Accordingly, they plan to intensify traffic safety and patrol efforts beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 25 through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 28, 2012.
"The Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the beginning of the summer driving season," says KSP Spokesman Capt. David Jude. "Traffic on the state roadways is expected to increase significantly during this time period and with the recent spike in traffic crashes, we plan to be highly visible throughout the holiday weekend."
KSP is asking motorists to plan ahead and buckle up before they hit the roadways for their holiday travel.
"Our main concern is that travelers arrive to their destination safely. By planning ahead and leaving early, drivers will be less rushed on the roadways."
"Last year, there were 1,182 crashes in Kentucky during the Memorial Day weekend," notes Jude. "Seven people lost their lives and 391 were injured. Many of these deaths and injuries might have been avoided if the drivers had slowed down and buckled up."
"We can't stress enough the importance of putting on that seat belt every time – every trip."
As part of the "Click It or Ticket" campaign, which started May 21 and continues through June 3, state troopers will be working overtime during the Memorial Day holiday. Operations will include increased saturation patrols and traffic safety checkpoints in high crash, high traffic locations.
Jude says 'driver inattention' is the number one cause of crashes in Kentucky.
"Often, when people travel long distances, they forget the need to take breaks. The longer someone is at the wheel, the greater the chance that they get tired or distracted and begin to make driving mistakes that could be deadly for them and others on the roadways."
The Foundation for Traffic Safety has resources for drivers who plan to travel during the holiday. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.aaafoundation.org/multimedia/Distracteddriving.cfm
KSP advises that 269 people have lost their lives on Kentucky's roadways as of May 24, 2012. Of that number, 231 involved motor vehicles and 133 victims were not wearing seat belts. Forty-four of those fatal crashes involved alcohol.
Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting erratic drivers to the Kentucky State Police toll-free at 1-800-222-5555. Callers will remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number if possible.