Kentucky highway deaths went up in 2019

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courtesy: mgn online

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Highway fatalities in Kentucky increased last year according to preliminary numbers from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety (KOHS). Initial data indicates there were 734 fatalities in 2019, compared to 724 in 2018.

“A single death is one too many,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “And our 2020 Recommended Highway Plan is our commitment to improving highway safety. Through this plan Governor Beshear calls for a historic $100 million investment in the Highway Safety Improvement Program and an aggressive move to install more than 100 miles of life-saving guardrail across the Commonwealth.”

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The fatality figures will remain preliminary until all highway crash data is collected. A final report will be released in April.

So far in 2020, preliminary numbers indicate there have been 56 roadway fatalities, down 17 compared to the same time last year. 

While pleased with the current downward trend, KOHS Acting Director Jason Siwula says the KOHS is increasing efforts to encourage safe driving habits through localized media campaigns and partnerships, like Buckle Up Phone Down, law enforcement blitzes, and free-ride sharing promotions during the holidays.

“We must give credit to the drivers who chose to practice safe driving behaviors,” said Siwula. “We pledge to do our part, but it will take everyone – all citizens of Kentucky – to reach our goal of zero deaths on our roadways.”

Kentucky’s history of highway fatalities:

2000    823

2001    843

2002    915

2003    931

2004    964

2005    985

2006    913

2007    864

2008    826

2009    791

2010    760

2011    721

2012    746

2013    638

2014    672

2015    761

2016    834

2017    782

2018    724

2019    734 (preliminary)

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.