Statewide data indicates an increase in traffic fatalities for the current year.
Through Sept. 30, preliminary statistics indicate that 543 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2012.
This is six more than reported for this time period in 2011.
Preliminary statistics state 15 people died in 11 separate crashes on Kentucky’s roadways from Sept. 24 through Sept. 30, 2012.
11 of the victims were traveling in motor vehicles and six were not wearing seat belts.
One triple fatality crash occurred in Fulton County and involved the use of alcohol. All three victims were not wearing seat belts.
One double fatality crash and one single fatality crash occurred in Carter County. The victim in the single fatality crash was not wearing a seat belt.
One single fatality crash also occurred in each of the following counties: Jefferson, Magoffin, Morgan, Pike and Shelby. The victims in Magoffin and Morgan counties were not wearing seat belts.
Three fatalities were the result of a motorcycle crashes. One double fatality crash occurred in Hopkins County. One single fatality crash occurred in Clinton County and the victim was not wearing a helmet.
One fatality was the result of an ATV crash in Calloway County. The victim was not wearing a helmet.
Of the 420 motor vehicle fatalities, 238 victims were not wearing seat belts. Of the 65 motorcycle fatalities, 33 were not wearing a helmet. 10 of the 11 ATV fatalities were not wearing a helmet. Forty-two pedestrians, one scooter/moped rider and four bicycle riders have been killed. A total of 95 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.
KSP Sgt. Rick Saint-Blancard, said the KSP has two objectives with traffic safety.
“Our first objective is to have zero fatalities,” Saint-Blancard said. “Since that’s impossible, we want to do better than we did the year before.”
He said their goal was to patrol the areas that were high in fatalities.
A press release from the KSP said these statistics are still preliminary as the KSP waits for all local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to report any crashes and fatalities that may have occurred in their areas.
Traffic fatalities in the state are changing daily and when compared to the numbers from last year, the statistics are only slightly higher.
Total, there were 721 fatalities during 2011.
Erin Eggen, information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said Kentucky is up six traffic fatalities from this time last year.
“Basically the Office of Highway Safety works with the KSP and local law enforcement to provide grants and federal overtime so officers can go out and check for seatbelts and impaired drivers,” Eggen said. “We always try to help law enforcement get impaired drivers off the road or help people with seatbelts.”
She said the best defense against bad drivers and injuries is to wear a seatbelt.
Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs said he believes the University is doing a good job at patrolling local roads and keeping them safe.
“I know Public Safety is very proactive with safety checks, to make sure people are wearing their seatbelts,” Robertson said. “You have to create the awareness.”
Robertson said since school has started he has noticed a large number of students being cited for issues concerning alcohol.
“Fortunately, it hasn’t resulted in traffic accidents or injuries but if that trend continues it very easily could,” Robertson said.
He said he asked the residential colleges to push getting information about alcohol abuse and safety.
“People have to weigh their consequences, he said. “If you break the law and you’re not of age, that’s the risk you take.”
The data within this story was collected via KSP press release as well as live interviews.
Story by Meghann Anderson, Assistant News Editor.