Kentucky Highway Fatalities Continue To Decline

There’s been a steady decline in highway fatalities in Kentucky since 2005, when 985 people were killed.  Last year, the number of fatalities fell to 760, the fifth consecutive year of declines.  Kentucky State Police spokesman David Jude says increased seat belt use is one reason, but rising gas prices likely are playing a role, too. 

“A couple of years ago when gas reached its high for this area, we noticed that people weren’t traveling as much – at least not in great distances.  They still went out and they made some short day trips.  They took some more local vacations, if you will, and kind of reduced the number of miles that they were driving,” he said.

Sixty-two percent of people killed on Kentucky roadways last year were not buckled up.  Twenty-percent of the fatalities involved alcohol.  Motorcyclists accounted for 78 of last year’s fatalities, and 58 of them were not wearing helmets.  Kentucky repealed its mandatory helmet law in 1998.

Published by Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.