for contacting the Ashland Police Department's Traffic Safety Section. The Traffic Safety Section will initiate an aggressive enforcement action with the goal of enhancing public safety to improve the community's quality of life behind the wheel. It is imperative as a community that we work together to achieve this important goal.
The "Three E's": Traffic Safety is based upon the model of the "Three Es" of Enforcement, Engineering, and Education. Traffic Officers perform their mission on a daily basis to identify not only Enforcement needs, but Engineering issues as well. By working with City, County, and State engineers, Traffic Officers identify problem areas and work to find solutions to make the roadways of one of the fastest growing communities in the country safer and more efficient. Education, the third "E" of the traffic safety triangle, is a responsibility shared by many different community groups. Many organizations provide driver training and education for all ages. In addition, there are numerous people and organizations working on such varied issues as designing safer roadways in our neighborhoods, teaching parents how to properly install child restraint seats, and dealing with the problem of impaired drivers. All of these play an important part in making Ashland safer for all of us.
The Top Twenty Intersections: Through traffic analysis data, we determine where Ashland's "Top Ten Intersections" for accidents are located. Unfortunately, computers can never predict where the next fatal accident will occur, and the intersections on the list change constantly. As Ashland grows, so does our need for more Police Officers. We are often asked to work Traffic enforcement in all parts of town, and we do. By assigning our limited number of Traffic Officers where they will do the most good, we believe we can be most effective at making a dent in the number of collisions.
The Hard Numbers: "More than 6.3 million police-reported motor vehicle crashes occurred in the United States in 2003. Almost one-third of these crashes resulted in an injury, with... 38,252 resulting in a death.1 That equates to an airliner with 150 passengers crashing and killing everyone aboard every other day!
"Forty percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol. For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3 a.m., 77 percent involved alcohol."2
1, 2. 2003 Motor Vehicle Crash Data from Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System, National
Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
We encourage you to learn more about traffic issues by visiting NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) website at http://www.NHTSA.com. In addition, we would like to hear what your concerns are.
Please visit http://drlic.kytc.ky.gov to a comprehensive site for Kentucky Driver's License requirements, information, and laws.
(link to http://transportation.ky.gov)
Nighttime Drivers, Young Males, and Teens Among Those Least Likely to Buckle Up and At Greatest Risk
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2005, 15,294 passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.
- Fifty-nine percent of those killed were NOT wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. That percentage is considerably higher than the 44 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were unrestrained and killed during daytime hours.
- Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.
- Nationally in 2005, 77 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants who were in a fatal crash and who were buckled up, survived the crash.
- When worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent - and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and mini-vans.
- Nearly one in five Americans (19 percent nationally) still fail to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
No More Excuses - "Click It or Ticket"
- Men - especially younger men - are much less likely to buckle up. In 2005, 67 percent of male drivers and 74 percent of male passengers between the ages of 18 and 34 in passenger vehicles who were killed in crashes were NOT wearing their seat belts.
- According to NHTSA, pickup truck drivers and passengers, particularly among young males, consistently have the lowest seat belt usage rates of all motorists.
- In 2006, the observed seat belt use rate in pickup trucks was only 74 percent compared to 82 percent in passenger cars and 84 percent in vans and SUVs.
- This lack of seat belt use is deadly. In 2005, 68 percent of pickup truck drivers and 71 percent of pickup truck passengers who were killed in traffic crashes were not buckled up.
- One of the deadliest outcomes in any vehicle crash occurs when passengers get ejected from the vehicle - with most ejections coming from failure to wear seat belts.
- In fact, 75 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from their vehicle in 2005 were killed. But only one in 100 drivers and passengers in fatal crashes who were wearing their seat belts were totally ejected.
- Motorists can increase the odds of survival in a rollover crash in a light truck by nearly 80 percent by wearing their seat belt.
- During 2005, more than one in ten (or 12.6 percent) of all drivers involved in fatal crashes across the U.S. were drivers between the ages of 15 and 20.
- An alarming 62 percent of teenage passenger vehicle occupants killed in fatal crashes during 2005 were NOT wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
YOU DRINK & DRIVE. YOU LOSE.
- Ashland Police Department is joining with hundreds of other state and local law enforcement and highway safety officials across the nation during mid-May through Memorial Day to launch an aggressive national "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement mobilization to crack down on low seat belt use and to reduce highway fatalities - with a new emphasis this year on convincing more motorists to buckle up - day and night.
- The goal is simple: to save more lives by convincing drivers and passengers - especially motorists at night - to always buckle up.
- Seat belt checkpoints and other stepped-up law enforcement activities will be conducted during the national "Click It or Ticket" enforcement mobilization, which runs May 21- June 3.
- Unless you want to risk a ticket, or worse - your life, you need to always remember to "Click It or Ticket" day and night.
- For more information, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/link/ciot.htm.
DRIVING HOME THE FACTS - ABOUT IMPAIRED DRIVING
Impaired driving is an issue at the forefront of America's public safety agenda, but has faded in visibility over the past few years. Public apathy and confusion over what constitutes impaired driving have contributed to the existing gap between the public perception that impaired driving is no longer a problem. The tragic reality is that nearly 16,000 lives were lost as a result of impaired driving in 1998, the last year of compiled national statistics.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and its partners have set a goal to reduce the annual number of fatalities attributed to impaired driving to no more than 11,000 by the year 2005. Achieving this goal will reduce deaths caused by drinking and driving by approximately 5,000 each year, saving an average of 14 lives every day.
Impaired driving costs Americans millions of dollars each year in lost time, lost property and lost lives.
In 1998, 15,935 fatalities and 305,000 injuries were related to impaired driving, accounting for one fatality nearly every 33 minutes and one injury every two minutes. Additionally, traffic-related crashes annually result in more than $45 billion in economic costs.
Alcohol remains a significant contributing factor in fatal crashes.
The severity of a motor vehicle crash increases when the driver is impaired. Individuals who drive while impaired are more likely to drive recklessly and become involved in fatal crashes. Plus, impaired drivers are less likely to use seatbelts, thereby increasing their own risk for serious injury in a crash.
The majority of those who drive impaired are likely to repeat the behavior.
In 1997, there were nearly 1.5 million arrests for driving while intoxicated. In states with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of at least 0.10, fatally injured drivers were more likely to have prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol. Hard core drunk drivers account for only one percent of all drivers on the road at night and on weekends, while representing nearly half of all fatal crashes at that time.
Only 17 states and the District of Columbia have set the legal BAC limit at .08. However, studies show that the relative risk of being killed in a single vehicle crash for drivers with a BAC level between .05 and .09 is 11 times that of drivers with .00 BAC level. At the .08 level, all drivers, even experienced ones, show impairment in driving ability. As BAC increases, the degree of impairment also rises dramatically.