December 27, 2013
PDT Content Manager
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Since November the Kentucky State Police have been implementing ‘Operation Holiday Lights’ which includes nighttime enforcement of the seat belt law and impaired driving crackdowns. Now, with New Year’s Eve around the corner, the KSP is once again stepping up its enforcement efforts.
During the holiday, the KSP will utilize all available resources in a effort to reduce loss of life on Kentucky roadways.
“Kentucky is at the lowest number of highway fatalities since 1947,” said KSP spokesman Trooper Paul Blanton. “A part of that number is due to enforcement and education efforts about traffic safety. The other part is credited to the vigilance of motorists who wear seat belts, reduce their driving speed and utilize designated driver programs.”
According to the KSP, there had been 628 traffic deaths in Kentucky as of Thursday. The KSP finds the number unacceptable, but still an improvement to 744 traffic deaths on Kentucky roadways in 2012.
“We are asking motorists to ‘finish strong’ when it comes to their driving behavior,” said Blanton. “More drivers in Kentucky are making wise choices when it comes to traffic safety and we encourage them to remain vigilant with these practices.”
Blanton said the responsibility of safe roadways is also a task of family and friends of those who might have had too much to drink. He urges relatives and friends of those who have had too much to take the keys away from those individuals or arrange for them to be driven home.
“We know there are going to be holiday celebrations this time of year where alcohol will be consumed, so your best bet is to always designate a sober driver before the parties begin,” Blanton said.
The national New Year’s Eve holiday enforcement period begins Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, at 6 p.m. and extends through Jan. 1, 2014, at 11:59 p.m.
“Make no mistake, our message is simple. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested. We will be out in force to take drunk drivers off the road - and save lives that might otherwise be lost,” said Blanton.
KSP established a toll-free number (1-800-222-5555) that citizens can call to report impaired or erratic drivers. The KSP is pushing the effort on social media using the hash tag #FinishStrongKy.
Bob Strickley can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 296, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Bob on Twitter @rjstrickleyjr.