KSP Highway Safety Branch News Release
Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
KSP Wraps Up Football Themed Enforcement Campaign at KHSAA Playoffs
Date of News Release: 12/10/07
Frankfort, Kentucky - KSP wrapped up their "Friday Night Blue Lights" fall enforcement campaign at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl at Papa John's Stadium in Louisville. The KHSAA Bowl games included twelve of the best football teams across the state with excellent records and successful seasons.
That is why KSP chose this venue to share the results of their successful season for the 'Friday Night Blue Light' campaign. The Enforcement Campaign was developed to counter the increasing crash statistics across Kentucky during the football season. KSP statistics indicated that during the months of September and October, there had been a steady rise in crashes over the past three years. Most of these crashes occurred on Fridays during the evening hours for this time period.
KSP developed a game plan of their own in an effort to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities across the Commonwealth. The 'Friday Night Blue Light' campaign concentrated on seat belt and speed violations with an additional focus on underage drinking. The tag line for the campaign was "Be on the Defense. Don't Commit an Offense. Buckle Up, Watch Your Speed and Drive Sober."
Captain Tim Lucas, Commander of the Highway Safety Branch, determined that for the program to be successful, in and around football venues, the high schools would have to get on board.
KSP sent campaign posters, literature and letters highlighting the program to high schools across the state. In addition, samples of underage drinking brochures were included for the schools to distribute to students.
KSP posts participated by coordinating Friday Night Blue Light events at local football games. The events included highway safety booths and KSP involvement in pre-game and half-time activities.
"Several schools across the state allowed us to be a part of their football games because school principles and coaches agreed that the safety message of the campaign was important for students to hear," said Lucas.
KSP increased patrols and the number of safety check points on Friday evenings in an effort to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities. Statistics compiled during the campaign show that the enforcement effort was successful. From August through October 2007, KSP issued 1,498 speeding citations, 569 seat belt and child restraint violations and 2,416 other various citations. In addition to the citations, KSP issued 1,996 courtesy warnings, arrested 198 impaired drivers, made 113 drug arrests and apprehended 72 people with outstanding warrants.
"As a result of these efforts there was a 72 percent decrease in fatalities from 2005 to 2007 and a 15 percent decrease in injuries. Even though we are thankful for these numbers, we need to do better because lives are at stake," said Lucas.
During the KHSAA playoffs, Lucas and his staff passed out miniature footballs that had safety messages inscribed on them, to fans attending the games. They also had a safety booth that fans could stop by and pick up highway safety educational brochures and materials. KSP Trooper David Fugate from the Frankfort Post sang the National Anthem during the pregame ceremonies before the Trinity and St. Xavier championship game.
KSP encourages everyone to buckle up, drive sober and slow down during the holidays. Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting erratic drivers to the Kentucky State Police toll-free at 1-800-222-5555 (in the state of Kentucky only, does not work out of state).