A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Northern Kentucky cities participate in recent ‘Operation Crash Reduction’ to promote safer roads

To help drivers and passengers remember the importance of seat-belt use and other safe-driving practices, the Commonwealth of Kentucky promoted “Operation Crash Reduction” (OCR) during the Columbus Day holiday weekend.

The operation ran from Oct. 9 through Oct. 12 with a goal of saving lives and preventing injuries due to traffic crashes. During this time, law enforcement agencies from Covington, Fort Mitchell, Villa Hills-Crescent Springs, Park Hills, Erlanger, Elsmere, Kentucky State Police, and Kenton County Police conducted a high-visibility enforcement campaign, with an emphasis on seat-belt use.

“As a driver, you’re not alone on the road, so you can’t prevent every possible collision,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “But you can ensure that every time you get in the car, you are as safe as possible if a crash happens. Put your phone down and buckle up.”

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS), state and local law enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) teamed up to support the operation.

“While we always encourage safe driving practices, this specialized campaign focuses on the importance of buckling up,” said KOHS Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula. “If you are involved in a crash, a properly fastened child seat and seat belt provides the best defense against injury or death.”

OCR is focused on NHTSA Region 3, which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia — a region that sees some of the nation’s highest numbers of traffic deaths.

According to NHTSA, in each year from 2014 to 2018, these states had 882 fatal crashes from Oct. 1-15. This is the highest number of fatal crashes for the first 15 days of any month during this same time period. In fact, from 2014 to 2018, October was the most likely month for fatal crashes to occur in these states, with 1,772 total fatal crashes.

In these fatal crashes, more than 45 percent of the occupants who died in passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses were unrestrained. During that same period in these states, more fatal crashes occurred on the long holiday weekend (257) than during the holiday periods of Thanksgiving or Memorial Day. This holiday period in 2018 was the most dangerous for these states, with 52 fatal crashes.

“For several years now, we have had this troubling trend in this East Coast region,” said NHTSA Regional Administrator Stephanie Hancock. “We know that speed, distraction, and impairment are the root causes of most of the crashes in these states. However, seat-belt and child-safety-seat use are your primary sources of protection in crashes caused by a speeding or impaired or distracted drivers.”

Last year, 345 people were injured and seven people died on Kentucky roadways during the Oct. 11-14 holiday weekend. “That is why we are working with NHTSA and our state and local law-enforcement partners to encourage motorists to buckle up and put their phones down,” Siwula said.

According to NHTSA, when worn correctly, seat belts reduce the risk of fatalities by 45 percent for front-seat vehicle occupants and by 60 percent for pickup truck, SUV, and minivan occupants.

“Seat belts save lives,” Hancock said. “Everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — should remember to buckle up.”

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/kyhighwaysafety/ and www.kyhighwaysafety.com.

City of Erlanger

Related Posts

Leave a Comment