Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
KSP Strive to Reduce Summer Traffic Deaths by Stepping up Safety Checkpoints
Date of Photo Release: 05/29/2009
(Frankfort, Ky.) -- Experience tells us that warmer weather brings increased vehicle travel as everyone begins to enjoy the summer season. History also reveals that this increased travel will create a greater potential for collisions and fatalities.
"As we enter into the summer months, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) will step up our traffic enforcement activities with an increased emphasis on impaired drivers, speeders and seat belt infractions," said Commissioner Rodney Brewer. "The increased police presence will hopefully curtail the rising number of injury related crashes that we traditionally see during the 100 deadly days of summer."
As of May 29, 2009, a total of 309 people have lost their lives on Kentucky's roadways. Of those, 144 were not wearing seat belts and 69 were contributed to alcohol involvement. Preliminary statistics* indicate that Kentucky has seen a 4 percent increase in Motor vehicle fatalities compared to the same time period last year.
"The rash of fatal traffic crashes that have occurred over the last several months is nothing short of tragic," Said Lt. Col. Mike Sapp, Director of the Operations Division. "Crashes are often preventable, so we are asking motorists to slow down and drive defensively during their summer travels."
Operation Safe C.H.E.C.K. (Concentrated Highway Enforcement Checkpoints in Kentucky) is an enforcement campaign that KSP will roll out June 1st and run through Labor Day Weekend. The campaign will include over 1000 road checks statewide during this time period. KSP will utilize collision data to target specific high-crash locations in each post area where high visibility checkpoints will be held.
"Operation Safe C.H.E.C.K will remove impaired drivers from the road - but also important are the number of personal contacts that will be made," said Sapp, who will oversee the summer checkpoint project.
"To keep traffic moving, some vehicles are permitted to pass without screening while others are randomly selected for inspection. KSP Posts will be directed to keep traffic moving smoothly at checkpoint locations to limit delays," added Sapp.
In addition to removing impaired drivers from the road, other violations will be addressed, such as expired tags, driving without insurance and general vehicle safety operating violations. Checkpoints have also been key in apprehending drivers with suspended licenses and fugitives.
Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting impaired, erratic drivers to the Kentucky State Police toll free hotline at 1-800-222-5555 (in the state of Kentucky only, does not work out of state). Callers will remain anonymous and should provide a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number if possible.