Multiple semi-truck accidents result in increased safety measures on Highway 101

Published: May. 16, 2018 at 5:42 PM CDT
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According to Kentucky State Police, eight commercial vehicle wrecks have been reported on Highway 101 between Scottsville and Smiths Grove since July 2017.

Neighbors who live in the area are asking for increased safety measures, both for their families and for the truck drivers.

"There have been three (semi truck) accidents within the last 45 days," said Beth Edwardson, who has lived off 101 for several years.

"My main concern with the semis on 101 is first, for us families who live here and travel the road every day, but also for the drivers and their families. I don't want to see anybody hurt on this road," added neighbor Michelle Wheeler.

"As a parent I was a nervous wreck when [my kids] got their drivers licenses," Edwardson said.

"Folks certainly have a right to be concerned if there are large trucks using that road that are not supposed to be," said Wes Watt with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

According to Watt, semi trucks are allowed on roads like Highway 101, but only up to 15 miles off the interstate, or five miles from a state-designated route.

"By the time they realize this is not a good route to take, there is no good place to turn around," said Edwardson.

Wheeler and Edwardson said they've spoken with truck drivers who have fallen off the roadway.

"They've said if there was a sign we would not have taken this route."

After the influx of accidents, officials are working to create new signs for the safety of everyone traveling the roads.

"We are going to put up some large panel signs on I-65 North and Southbound direction. One near the Smiths Grove area and the other near the Franklin area," Watt said.

He said these signs will direct trucks to use Exit 20 at the Natcher Parkway to take 231 into Scottsville.

"I think the signs are a very good start -- that's what we've been asking for for a very long time," Edwardson said.

In addition to these signs, neighbors are hoping for more in the future.

Wheeler said, "Let's fix the problem. Let's work together and find a reasonable alternative to what we have, which I believe is signs that post that this is not a designated truck route and enforcement."

Temporary signs will be set in place before the permanent ones are created. The transportation cabinet hasn't set a date yet as to when those signs will go up, but officials said they're working on it as fast as they can.

In addition to the signs, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said it is doing what it can to increase safety, but needs the support of trucking companies and truck drivers because it is ultimately up to the drivers to look up which routes trucks are supposed to take.