Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:17AM - 284 Views
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Bob Strickley

PDT Content Manager

The Kentucky State Police Post 14 out of Ashland, Ky. released its motorway statistical totals for the month of June Monday afternoon.

According to Trooper Michael Murriell, there were 28 motor vehicle collisions investigated by the state police working in the Ashland Post’s four counties of Boyd, Greenup, Carter and Lawrence.

Compared to June of 2012, there was one less fatality in June of 2013 with a total of two. One fatality occurred in Boyd County and the other in Lawrence County. In 2012 there were two June fatalities in Greenup County and one in Boyd County.

In total, Post 14 issued 1601 citations in the month of June, conducted 54 criminal investigations and made 244 criminal arrests. There were 32 Driving Under the Influence arrests made in June by Post 14.

Also, Monday, the KSP released preliminary statewide statistic for the period from June, 24 to June 30. Most notably among those statistics were the nine motor vehicle related deaths on Kentucky roadways during that time.

One single-fatality, motor vehicle crash each occurred in Campbell, Estill, Floyd, Graves, Green and Pulaski counties. The crashes in Floyd and Green counties involved the suspected use of alcohol.

A single-fatal, motorcycle crash occurred in McCracken County and another occurred in Rowan County. The vehicle in Rowan County was not wearing a helmet.

One pedestrian was killed in Marshall County. The suspected use of alcohol was involved.

Through the June 30 preliminary statistics, 310 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways in 2013. That is 62 less than reported through this time period in 2012. However, there were more roadways fatalities in June of 2013 (73) than in June of 2013 (65).

Despite the drop in year-to-date roadway deaths, The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety is partnering with state and local law enforcement on the “Blue Lights Across the Bluegrass” campaign in July..

“We are concerned with our current highway fatality numbers,” Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock said. “The year started with a reduction, but June ended with a higher number of crashes compared to the same time period last year, and that trend must not continue.”

According to KOHS, half of those in killed in June were not wearing seat belts, 20 percent involved an impaired driver and 70 percent of those killed in motorcycle crashes were not wearing a helmet.

“With the summer travel season, more people are on our roadways, which might explain the slight increase in June,” said KOHS Director Bill Bell. “However, it does not explain why people are not making safe decisions when they get behind the wheel.”

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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 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.

“Seat belts clearly save lives, but unfortunately too many motorists still need a tough reminder of our law,” Hancock said.

While officers will patrol all roadways in their designated city or county, a special emphasis will be placed on the areas where the majority of crashes have occurred.

“Law enforcement will be out in force, citing anyone committing traffic violations,” Bell said. “Whether you drive a car or motorcycle, you must obey the law.”

Kentucky’s roadway fatalities increased for the first time in seven years, going from 721 deaths in 2011 to 746 in 2012. More than half of those killed in motor vehicles were not restrained, 20 percent involved an impaired driver and 53 percent were motorcyclists not wearing a helmet.

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.

Bob Strickley can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 296, or bstrickley@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Bob on Twitter @rjstrickleyjr.

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