|FRANKFORT, Ky.) - Kentucky State Police (KSP) is already in full swing with their summer enforcement campaign that targets inattentive drivers. Operation K.S.P. (Kentucky’s Summer Prevention Plan) began on June 1 and is picking up speed as it sweeps across the state. The campaign will run through Labor Day weekend and will include over 1,000 safety checkpoints across the state.
KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer said his agency implemented this multi-faceted approach in an effort to reduce highway crashes and deaths by reminding drivers to be alert and have their vehicles road ready.
"Our goal is to inform drivers about the importance of having a safe vehicle, an alert driver and the need for all passengers to wear seat belts," said Brewer.
"Inattentive driving has become a trend with deadly, real consequences and it is the number one cause of crashes in Kentucky," remarked Brewer. "We plan to focus on educating drivers about that fact throughout this campaign."
The three-prong approach combines enforcement, education and public media to get the message out about being ‘road ready’.
KSP has developed a brochure to pass out at safety check points, will make public service announcements and will utilize social media technology to reach more people.
KSP Public Affairs Branch Commander, Lt. David Jude, says his Branch, along with the 16 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.
“Summer is the peak travel season and we hope to increase driver safety awareness,” said Jude. “The neat aspect of this campaign is that we not only concentrate on distracted driving behavior - but also, the readiness of the both the driver and their vehicle before they leave for their destination.”
Inattentive driving is the failure to pay proper attention to the roadway while driving. It includes, among others, eating, talking, putting on make up, attending to children and texting.
Inattentive driving is an important challenge for Kentucky drivers because last year more than 6,000 people nationally died in crashes related to it. In Kentucky, there were over 53,000 related crashes resulting in over 15,000 injuries and 199 fatalities during 2008.
KSP has already conducted 371 safety check points netting 176 DUI arrests, 715 seat belt citations, 68 drug arrests, recovered 1 stolen vehicle and performed 13,622 vehicle inspections.
Kentucky recently adopted a new texting law that prohibits drivers from writing, sending or reading text-based messages while operating a motor vehicle. Additionally, the law bans the use of cell phones by drivers under age 18 while driving, with the exception of an emergency situation. The law went into effect April 25th, 2010 and allows law enforcement officers to issue warnings through Jan. 1, 2011. On January 1, texting violators will be liable for fines of $25 on a first offense and $50 on each subsequent offense, plus court costs. The new cell phone legislation will require violators to pay fines of $50 on a first offense and $100 on each subsequent offense, plus court costs.
To obtain a copy of the ‘Are You Ready’ Safe Driving Brochure you can download it from the KSP website at www.kentuckystatepolice.org or contact a local post for a copy.