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TFC Billy Gregory
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KSP Takes "Friday Night Blue Lights" Campaign to Monroe County High School Football Game

Date of News Release: 10/12/07

(Thompsonville, Kentucky) - Friday nights have become synonymous with high school football, stadium lights, marching bands and zealous fans. With that, comes increased traffic and post-game activities. The fact is that in Kentucky last year, the highest number of collisions occurred in September and October - specifically on Fridays during the evening hours. For this reason, the Kentucky State Police unveiled a new football themed enforcement campaign that will 'tackle' seat belt and speed violators and focus on underage drinking.

The statewide enforcement campaign is called "Friday Night Blue Lights" and KSP Troopers will be hosting safety booths at several games throughout the state.

Kentucky State Police will be stepping up their 'game' through the Friday Night Blue Lights Enforcement Campaign by concentrating on seat belt and speed violations with an additional focus on underage drinking. The tag line for the campaign is "Be on the Defense. Don't Commit an Offense."

KSP Trooper Dwaine Barnett, Public Affair Officer for the Columbia Post, addressed the crowd regarding the campaign strategies.

"We intend to increase patrols before and after football games and hold safety check points throughout the state. Our goal for this campaign is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on Kentucky roadways," said Barnett.

KSP mailed 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 review. KSP is making this literature available to schools to distribute upon request.

"Driving a car is the most dangerous thing most people will do in their lifetime. In fact, highway fatalities are the number one killer of people ages 3 - 33 in our society," added Barnett.

Last year, Kentucky experienced 913 highway fatalities. Of those, 65 percent were not wearing seat belts. The latest Traffic Collision Fact Report indicated that there were 6,360 collisions involving speed violations and 5,458 involving alcohol impairment.

KSP Commissioner Jack Adams is pleased with the response from high schools throughout the state since the initial kick-off of the campaign on August 24.

"I commend the superintendents, principles and coaches across the state for their willingness to support the 'Friday Night Blue Lights' campaign. This joint effort between law enforcement and school administrators will pay off through lives saved," said Adams.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reported that 17,602 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic fataliies in 2006. In Kentucky last year, 30 percent of the total traffic fatalities were alcohol-related.

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).

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