Trooper Jody Sims
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 13, Hazard
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Kentucky State Police Kick-Off Summer Highway Safety Enforcement Campaign in Eastern Kentucky
July 4th Second Deadliest Day of the Year
Date of News Release: 07/02/2007
(Hazard, KY) - July 4th is the second-most-deadly holiday period of the year - just behind New Year's. Last year, 16 people were killed in traffic crashes across Kentucky during the Fourth of July holiday period (06/30/06 @ 6:00 p.m. through 07/04/06 @ 12:00 a.m.).
That is why Kentucky State Police will join with other local law enforcement and highway safety officials in working overtime this year to remind anyone planning to use alcohol while celebrating Independence Day that if You Are Over the Limit, You Are Under Arrest. This campaign is part of the "Blue Lights Across the Bluegrass" Summer Enforcement campaign that will focus on impaired driving, speed and failure to wear seat belts.
Captain Jeff Caudill, of Kentucky State Police Hazard Post, encourages all drivers who will be on the roadways during the July 4th weekend to take extra caution when traveling. "Too many people still don't understand that alcohol and driving just don't mix. Impaired driving is no accident-nor is it a victimless crime. Too many lives are being lost and we need everyone's help to stop it," Caudill said.
Alcohol plays a major role in motorcycle fatalities, affecting those skills essential to operate a motorcycle -- balance and coordination. Last year, in Kentucky there were 1,770 motorcycle collisions with 97 fatalities.
To make this enforcement campaign successful, the Kentucky State Police have teamed up with local prosecutor's to make sure that impaired driving, speed and seat belt violations are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Knott County Attorney Tim Bates said his office will be working with law enforcement during this campaign and will prosecute any impaired driving, speed or seat belt violations.
"Drunk driving, and now even more prevalent, drugged driving, is a serious life threatening hazard to everyone traveling the highways" said Bates.
KSP Commissioner Jack Adams said traffic safety checkpoints will be held across the state, simultaneously to remove impaired drivers from the roadways and to increase the use of seat belts.
"Last year there were 1,160 collisions over the July 4th Holiday which led to 16 fatalities. We want Kentuckians to enjoy the holiday with their families, so we will be out in full force to ensure safe and sober roadways as they travel" added Adams.
Captain Caudill provided simple precautions to take before going out to celebrate - that may avoid much of the tragedy from drunk driving:
- Whenever you plan on using alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
- If you're impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
- Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement; Kentucky State Police has a toll-free hotline to call to report impaired driving: 1-800-222-5555 (in the state of Kentucky only, does not work out of state)
- Wearing your safety belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver;
- While traveling to and from celebrations on your motorcycle, remember to make yourself visible by riding your motorcycle where you can be seen to avoid a crash;
- And remember, Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.