The initial state-wide numbers are in on highway fatalities over the Fourth of July weekend. Six people died in six separate crashes between Friday afternoon and midnight Monday. Alcohol is a suspected factor in one crash. Four fatalities involved motorists not wearing their seatbelts. Lieutenant David Jude with the Kentucky State Police says to date, 321 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways.
"Although our numbers are preliminary and we are still waiting for those to be shored up, I can tell you that so far in 2011, we are thirty-five fatalities fewer than we were at this point last year."
Lt. Jude points to the combination of enforcement, education, engineering, and behavior modification for the improved statistics.
"You know we can write tickets, we can preach all day long what the right thing to do is, and we can make improvements on the roadway but until driving attitudes and behaviors change, we won't see huge reductions in the numbers. We have seen those numbers (drop) over the last now five and half years in Kentucky and I really give that credit to the motoring public for making changes in their driving behavior."
Lt. Jude adds that stepped up enforcement programs like "click it or ticket" and "over the limit, under arrest" have aided in the effort to reduce traffic deaths.