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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780

KSP Commercial Driver's License Program Receives National Certification

Date of Release: 01/14/05

A national organization working to improve motor vehicle administration, police traffic services and highway safety has recognized the Kentucky State Police for its commercial drivers licensing efforts. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) recently granted certification to KSP's Commercial Driver's License Program, making Kentucky one of only 12 states in the nation to have achieved this distinction.

"This is a significant accomplishment," says KSP Commissioner Mark Miller. "There are approximately 150,000 commercial driver's license holders in Kentucky. Every day, they operate a wide variety of heavy-duty vehicles on the state's roadways. It's our duty to protect the citizens of Kentucky by making sure these drivers are fully trained and qualified to operate these vehicles in a safe manner."

According to Miller, in 2004 there were 7,882 crashes involving commercial vehicles in Kentucky. These crashes resulted in 2,048 injuries and 125 deaths.

To achieve AAMVA accreditation, a state must submit extensive documentation about its commercial driver's licensing program. This detailed information includes training procedures, training and testing materials used, oversight of examiners, methods of program audits, inspections and more.

After reviewing Kentucky's application, the AAMVA board classified the KSP program as "exceptional."

Several pieces of legislation enacted during the past few years greatly improved Kentucky's commercial driver's license program and helped it achieve certification, says Capt. Melvin Nicholson, commander of the KSP Driver Testing Branch.

"One part of the law removed third party examiners who were hired by truck driver training schools and conducted their own testing for the school," notes Nicholson. "Also, there was a curriculum standard placed into law, which required that all truck driver training schools offer at least 160 hours of training with at least 32 hours behind the wheel."

"At that time, we also developed administrative regulations regarding who could conduct commercial driver's license tests in the state and other requirements that examiners must meet," he adds.

AAMVA certification has many practical benefits observes Lt. Adam Whitlock, assistant commander of the KSP Driver Testing Branch. "It enables us to have the confidence of knowing that we meet a standard of excellence in commercial driver's license examinations and training. It speaks for itself when Kentucky's program is audited and reviewed every three years by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It speaks volumes to FMCSA that the state is doing all it can to insure that it operates and maintains a quality program."

During the past four years, Kentucky has received more than $2 million in grants through FMCSA.

KSP has been responsible for commercial drivers licensing through written and skills tests since 1990. Troopers currently conduct testing at nine sites across the state including Mayfield, Owensboro, Bowling Green, Somerset, Louisville, Georgetown, Boone County, Mt. Sterling and Floyd County.

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