Local News

Motor vehicle traffic fatalities are down across the nation and the state. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is reporting that fatalities from January through October are down by 10 percent. Traffic fatalities also declined in Kentucky, but by about 6 percent.

Kentucky State Police Sergeant David Jude says the factors behind the decline at the national and state levels are the same.

“Because the gas prices were higher, we saw less people on the roadway,” Jude says. “Also, we like to think that some of our enforcement initiatives have helped out.”

Kentucky State Police is combating crashes by providing more information to area police about roads with a high number of accidents.

“[Area police] can look at data for their area and say that we need to have more enforcement on a given roadway and, therefore, can put a better plan in place and target specific areas to help combat collision and, of course, fatalities,” Jude says.

Jude also says increasing enforcement on Friday nights near high school football venues and increasing use of seatbelts has helped reduce fatalities from 861 in 2007 to 811 in 2008.