The Kentucky State Police report an increase in fatal highway crashes by 12 percent from 2011.
Accordingly, police plan to intensify traffic safety and patrol efforts beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 25 through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 28.
"The Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the beginning of the summer driving season," says KSP Spokesman Lt. David Jude. "Traffic on the state roadways is expected to increase significantly during this time period and with the recent spike in traffic crashes, we plan to be highly visible throughout the holiday weekend."
KSP is asking motorists to plan ahead and buckle up before they hit the roadways for their holiday travel.
“Our main concern is that travelers arrive to their destination safely. By planning ahead and leaving early, drivers will be less rushed on the roadways.”
"Last year, there were 1,182 crashes in Kentucky during the Memorial Day weekend," notes Jude. "Seven people lost their lives and 391 were injured. Many of these deaths and injuries might have been avoided if the drivers had slowed down and buckled up."
“We can’t stress enough the importance of putting on that seat belt every time – every trip.”
As part of the "Click It or Ticket" campaign, which started May 21 and continues through June 3, state troopers will be working overtime during the Memorial Day holiday. Operations will include increased saturation patrols and traffic safety checkpoints in high crash, high traffic locations.
Jude says ‘driver inattention’ is the number one cause of crashes in Kentucky.
“Often, when people travel long distances, they forget the need to take breaks. The longer someone is at the wheel, the greater the chance that they get tired or distracted and begin to make driving mistakes that could be deadly for them and others on the roadways.”
The Foundation for Traffic Safety has resources for drivers who plan to travel during the holiday. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.aaafoundation.org/multimedia/Distracteddriving.cfm