News Release

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

KSP Asks Drivers To 'Put It Down'

Date of News Release: 12/22/2010

(Frankfort, Ky.) -- Kentucky State Police (KSP) is preparing for January 1, 2011 when they will begin issuing citations for violations of the texting law that went into effect July 15, 2010. The law (KRS 189.292) prohibits drivers from texting while their vehicle is in motion. For drivers who are under eighteen, the law (KRS 189.294) goes a step further by prohibiting both texting and cell phone use for this age group.

KSP Public Affairs Branch Commander Capt. David Jude says that the new law was designed to place the drivers' focus back on the road instead of an electronic device.

"Texting or using a cell phone takes the drivers focus off the road." says Jude. "For instance, every second that you take your eyes off the road when your speed is 70 mph, your vehicle travels 102 feet."

Drivers who violate the new law will be fined $25 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense, plus court costs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the effort to put an end to distracted driving behaviors, such as texting and cell phone use. Their key focus is to get motorists to stop engaging in other activities while driving. Just "Put It Down" and concentrate on the road, is the new strategy (http://www.distraction.gov/stats-and-facts/index.html) they are promoting across the country.

"Everyone needs to be a part of this strategy through public education and enforcement of the law," says Jude. "Eliminating texting and cell phone use while driving will reduce crashes and more importantly, reduce the number of deaths on Kentucky highways."

"A text message or cell phone call can wait but the safety of you, your family and other motorists on the road is much more important," added Jude.

Jude says all KSP public affairs officers across the state will be blitzing the airwaves, internet and print media in an effort to get a uniform message out across the state about the law.

Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting erratic drivers to the Kentucky State Police toll-free at 1-800-222-5555. Callers will remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number if possible.

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