KYTC highway safety campaign begins Friday

Published 10:30 am Friday, August 18, 2023

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With Labor Day just around the corner, Kentuckians are being reminded to celebrate the end of summer safely by planning for a sober, designated driver, if those festivities include alcohol. Impaired driving crashes typically increase over holidays, so the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement across the nation in a safety campaign Aug. 18 to Sept. 4 reminding drivers to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

“Our top priority is keeping Kentuckians safe,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.  “If you are under the influence and choose to get behind the wheel, you put everyone on the road in danger, including yourself.  Let’s work together to eliminate preventable crashes by committing to celebrate responsibly.”

The KOHS says there were 4,127 total crashes involving an impaired driver in Kentucky last year, resulting in 1,990 injuries and 189 deaths.  Of the 1,575 total motorcycle crashes last year, 749 involved only the motorcyclist.  Of those, 44 involved alcohol, and resulted in 32 injuries along with 11 deaths.

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Last year during the Labor Day holiday weekend, there were 76 crashes involving an impaired driver, resulting in 44 injuries and one death.

“It is never acceptable to drive impaired,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray.  “Drivers must understand that drugs and alcohol not only hinder your ability to drive but also affect your judgment about whether you can or should drive.  You may think you’re fine, but impairment slows judgment, coordination and reaction times.”

KOHS recommends:

  • Before the festivities begin, plan a way to get home at the end of the night safely.
  • If you’re impaired, use a ride-booking company, taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to get home safely.
  • If you see an impaired driver, safely pull over and contact law enforcement.  You may call the KSP toll-free line directly at 1-800-222-5555 or 911. Provide a vehicle description, license number, location and, if possible, direction of travel.
  • If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
  • Wear a seat belt.  It’s not only the law, but the best defense against an impaired driver.  Buckling up helps prevent injury and death if involved in a crash.