Put The Brakes On Fatalities

Today the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is urging motorists to pay extra attention to the road.

October 10th marks "Put The Brakes On Fatalities" day. This is a nationwide event that began in 2001 to show motorists how they can be safer when behind the wheel.

"Distracted driving is something that's really as much of a problem as drunk driving, or getting sleepy while you're driving, and things like that", said Keirsten Jaggers with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Jaggers says her department is hoping to create awareness about distracted driving in order to help make the roads a little safer.

"Somebody might say: 'Hey I'm going to wear my seatbelt today', maybe start wearing their seatbelt, or maybe decide not to answer their phone while they're in the car. That creates quite a problem with distracted driving", said Jaggers.

Earlier this year Governor Ernie Fletcher signed three bills into law that were aimed at reducing the fatality rates.

Those are the Primary Seatbelt, Graduated License, and Quick Clearance Laws.

The Primary Seatbelt Law changes the offense from a seconday to a primary offense.

"Now it's a primary seatbelt law where if they see you driving without your seatbelt, as of January 1 they can fine you", said Jaggers.

The Kentucky Transportation Department says this legislation alone is expected to save at least 62 lives each year.

Under the Graduated Driver's License Law, teens will have to have a permit for 180 days before applying for an intermediate license. Before they can get one of those, they must present a statement to state police signed by a guardian .

The statement says the applicant completed 60 hours of supervised training, including 10 hours at night, while accompanied by a fully-licensed person at least 21 years old.

"Basically it's still a full license it just has a few more restrictions", said Jaggers.

The Quick Clearance Law requires drivers in a non-fatal accident with no visible injuries to move their vehicles to the side of the road while waiting for police.

Jaggers says the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet hopes these laws and basic driver attention will help make your driving habits a little safer.

To help teenagers become more aware of distracted driving, the transportation cabinets PSA contest will center around the topic this year.

For more information on that you can contact Keirsten Jaggers at (270) 746-7898.

For more information on the new laws you can log onto http://highwaysafety.ky.gov/laws.asp.