LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Thousands of cars travel on Kentucky’s highways and interstates every day. Most of the time, everyone gets to where they are going, but sometimes, tragedy strikes.
“Each one of those is a mother or a father, a sister, a brother. Somebody that is part of their local community,” said Jason Siwula with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.
Each year Kentucky’s Office of Highway Safety pushes their Click It or Ticket campaign to address a number of distractions and bad driving habits, and ultimately save lives. This year’s campaign comes just as the commonwealth is rebounding from the pandemic.
“One of the things that we know is that people are getting out and moving about a bit more than they were during the pandemic,” Siwula said. “We want to make sure that we are out there reminding people about those safe driving behaviors like buckling up, and putting your phone down while you’re in the driver’s seat.”
Highway safety officials say travel on Kentucky’s roads was down last year mostly because of the pandemic. Still, 780 people lost their lives in crashes. That’s an increase from years past.
“A lot of jurisdictions actually saw increased vehicle fatalities even though we had fewer vehicle miles traveled,” Siwula said.
AAA says less traffic won’t be the case this year. Memorial Day travel is expected to jump more than 60% compared to 2020 with 37 million people hitting the road.
“Ultimately what we’re trying to do is to help people to understand their behavior and how it affects not just the people that are in their vehicle but potentially the people that are outside of their vehicles as well,” Siwula said.
A report out today also shows more pedestrians were killed in 2020 than in 2019 in Kentucky. Nationwide, there was about a 20% increase.