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News Item #1451
[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Kentucky Highway Fatalities Increasing
Posted: 1-Oct-2009 10:26AM CDT

From the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety:

Kentucky highway fatalities increasing
Third quarter up five compared to same period in 2008
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2009) – The number of people killed on Kentucky’s roadways is increasing, according to preliminary numbers from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS). There were 586 fatalities as of Sept. 30, five more than at the same time last year.
“Even a slight increase in fatalities is certainly not what we had hoped,” said KOHS Executive Director Chuck Geveden. “However, the numbers are considerably lower than this time period in 2006 and 2007 when the fatalities were 654 and 636 respectively.”
Over half of those killed so far this year were not wearing seat belts, 22 percent involved alcohol and 13 percent were motorcyclists not wearing a helmet.
“This proves there is still work to be done,” said Boyd Sigler, Director of the KOHS Division of Highway Safety Programs. “Our office will continue visiting schools and communities across the state to educate everyone on the benefits of safe driving habits.”
The KOHS offers various highway safety educational programs to the public, distributes federal highway safety grants to state and local highway safety agencies, and promotes the annual “Click It or Ticket” seat belt campaign and “Over the Limit. Under Arrest” impaired driving campaign.
“We hope our efforts prompt drivers to make safe decisions when they get behind the wheel,” said Sigler.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that seat belts, when worn correctly, reduce the risk of fatalities by 45 percent for front-seat vehicle occupants, and by 60 percent for in pickup truck, SUV and minivan occupants. Also according to NHTSA, regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect against and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.
There were 826 fatalities on Kentucky roadways in 2008, including 649 people in motor vehicles. Of those, 70 percent were not buckled up and over 20 percent involved alcohol.
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Updated: 1-Oct-2009 10:26AM CDT

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