Kentucky Office of Highway Safety






"To support effective and collaborative partnerships to advance traffic safety awareness, education, and enforcement in an effort to save lives on Kentucky roadways."

 The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety works specifically to save lives by reducing Kentucky’s highway crashes, injuries, and fatalities through relevant data-driven, outcomes-based approaches and effective program delivery.





Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 



Contact:  Erin Eggen


Contact:  Naitore Djigbenou



Office of Highway Safety, law enforcement agencies partner with NHTSA
to reduce crashes throughout Columbus Day

Operation Crash Reduction runs October 11-14


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2019) –  The upcoming Columbus Day holiday provides a great opportunity for long weekend getaways — and this means more cars on the road. This is why the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS), state and local law enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are teaming up for the inaugural Operation Crash Reduction effort with a focus on Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Operation Crash Reduction runs from October 11 through October 14 with a goal of saving lives and preventing injuries due to traffic crashes. During this time, law enforcement will conduct a high-visibility enforcement campaign, with an emphasis on seat belt use.

“While we always encourage safe driving practices, this specialized campaign focuses on the importance of buckling up,” said KOHS Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula. “If you are involved in a crash, a properly-fastened seat belt provides the best defense against injury or death.”

According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), from 2013-2017, this specific set of states had 859 fatal crashes between October 1 and October 15. This is the highest number of fatal crashes for the first 15 days of any month from 2013-2017. In fact, from 2013 to 2017, October was the most likely month for fatal crashes to occur in these states, with 3,330 total crashes. Of these fatal crashes, nearly one in three occupants involved were unbelted. During that same period in these states, more fatal crashes occurred on Columbus Day Weekend (517) than during the long weekends of Thanksgiving or Memorial Day. Columbus Day was the second deadliest holiday of 2017 for these states, trailing only Independence Day.

“With the release of preliminary 2017 FARS data, we noticed this troubling trend in this East-Coast region,” said Stephanie Hancock, NHTSA Regional Administrator. “We know that speed, distraction and impairment are the root causes of most of the crashes in these states. However, seat belt and child safety seat use are your number-one source of protection in crashes caused by a speeding, impaired or distracted driver.” 

“While we typically see an increase in crashes over Memorial Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving, we were surprised to learn that over the past five years, more fatal crashes occurred in these states on Columbus Day weekend than during those more highly-traveled holidays,” said Siwula.   “That is why we are working with NHTSA and our state and local law enforcement partners to ensure you see plenty of enforcement during the holiday weekend. So please, buckle up and put the phone down.”

According to NHTSA, when worn correctly, seat belts reduce the risk of fatalities by 45 percent for front-seat vehicle occupants and by 60 percent for pickup truck, SUV and minivan occupants.

“Seat belts save lives,” said Hancock.  “Everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — needs to remember to buckle up.”

For more information, please visit and







 NHTSA Countermeasures That Work Cover Sheet.jpg

Click link below to view and download this document

NHTSA Countermeasures that Work 2017.pdf

200 Mero Street, 4th FloorFrankfortKY40622KY8:00am-4:30pm EST, M-F(502) 564-1438(502) 564-0903 highwaysafety@ky.gov,+Frankfort,+Franklin,+Kentucky+40601&gl=us&sqi=2&z=16&iwloc=A
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Click link below for further Daily Fatality Report Information

Daily Fatality Report - 10-21-2019.pdf







Click link below for the Year End 2018 Daily Fatality Summary Information

Daily Fataliy Summary for YE2018


Stop. Trains Can't.

The Right Choice at Railroad Crossings Could Save Your Life

Don't Risk It at Railroad Crossings

  • Approximately every three hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States.
  • Most of these deaths were caused by risky driving behaviors and poor decision- making, and could have been prevented.
  • Remember: Stop. Trains Can't. Avoiding a collision with a train is the responsibility of the motorist.

Trains Always Have the Right of Way

  • By law, trains have the right of way at all railroad crossings.

  • Trains cannot swerve, stop quickly, or change direction to avert collisions. A train traveling at 55 miles per hour takes a mile or more to stop.

  • State highway traffic safety laws require all motorists to slow, yield, or stop until the train has cleared the roadway and it is safe to cross.

  • It is illegal to go around a lowered crossing gate or to ignore signs or flashing lights posted at a railroad crossing.

Understand the Signage and Follow the Law

  • Of the 130,000 public railroad crossings in the United States, roughly 54 percent are "active" crossings that include warning devices such as gates, bells, or flashing lights to alert motorists of an approaching train. But 46 percent are "passive" crossings, where only signs and markings are present.

  • While warning devices do improve safety at railroad crossings, they do not prevent 100 percent of collisions. Approximately 60 percent of all collisions at railroad crossings occur where active warning devices are present, and nearly 19 percent of all crossing collisions involve a motor vehicle striking the side of a train already in the crossing.

  • Motorists must come to a complete stop at least 15 feet from the track if: 1) flashing red lights are activated, 2) a crossing gate is lowered, 3) a flagman signals you to stop, 4) a stop sign is posted, or 5) a train is clearly visible or you hear the whistle of a train.

  • Ignoring signage or attempting to go around a crossing gate that is down can have deadly consequences. It is never worth risking your life by ignoring the law or racing a train.

  • The best way to avoid a collision with a train is to understand and follow the warning signage, and to always stop for a train.

Use Caution at Every Railroad Crossing

  • When approaching a railroad crossing, slow down, and look and listen for a train on the tracks, especially at "passive" crossings.

  • Look carefully in both directions before crossing a railroad track—even during the day. Sixty-seven percent of railroad crossing collisions occur in clear weather conditions.

  • Do not rely on past experience to guess when a train is coming. Trains can come from either direction at any time.

  • Never race a train. It is easy to misjudge a train's speed and distance from the crossing. A train traveling at 55 miles per hour takes a mile to stop—the length of 18 football fields or more—after applying the emergency brakes.

  • Before entering a railroad crossing, check that there is enough room on the other side of the tracks for your vehicle to cross completely and safely. Be aware that you may need to cross multiple sets of tracks at some railroad crossings.

  • Never stop on the railroad tracks. Keep moving once you have entered the crossing, and to avoid stalling, never shift gears on the tracks.

  • If your vehicle does stall on a railroad track, quickly move away from the track and your vehicle at a 45-degree angle. Call the number on the Emergency Notification System (ENS) sign, or if the ENS sign is not visible to you, dial 911 for help.

Remember: The Right Choice at Railroad Crossings Could Save Your Life.

Stop. Trains Can't.

This information has been provided by NHTSA.




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