FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - This Independence Day weekend, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a safety campaign to remind drivers that “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”
Unfortunately, this summertime celebration creates dangerous road conditions when drivers choose to drive while impaired, said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “If you are under the influence of any substance and choose to get behind the wheel, you put everyone on the road in danger, including yourself. During the Fourth of July holiday, make sure to have a sober, designated driver for all your festivities.”
Figures from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, indicate that last year in the state, there were 66 crashes due to a drunk or drugged driver over the Fourth of July holiday period, resulting in 28 injuries and four deaths.
“Impaired driving is 100 percent preventable,” said Highway Safety Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula. “Drivers must understand that drugs and/or alcohol not only hinder your ability to drive, but also affect your judgment about whether you can or should drive. You may think you’re fine, but impairment slows judgment, coordination and reaction times.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety administration, impaired driving fatalities typically spike during holidays. To prevent tragedies from occurring, the Transportation Cabinet recommends the following:
Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night:
--If you’re impaired, use a ride-booking company, taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.
--If you see an impaired driver, safely pull over and contact law enforcement. You may dial the KSP toll-free line directly at 1-800-222-5555 or call 911.
--If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get them safely to where they are going.
--Wear a seat belt! It is not only the law, it is the best defense against an impaired driving. Buckling up helps prevent injury and death if involved in a crash.
“We want all Kentuckians to enjoy their Independence Day celebrations,” Siwula stated. “All we ask is that you make smart choices and celebrate responsibly.”