Police watching the roads closely

By Marcus Conroy | 

It is the first day of summer, and officials are teaming up to keep the roads safe.

The summer heat means more people are hitting the roads. Unfortunately, that also means more accidents.

State police, local law enforcement, and county prosecutors are all teaming up in Operation Kentucky Summer Prevention. The goal is to enforce safe driving during the summer months, and to prevent all road fatalities.

Law enforcement officers will be all over the roads this summer, and are putting everyone on notice. They will not take careless driving lightly.

"So you're not playing with the radio, you're not texting, you're not on the phone. You're focused on what you're doing," Captain Scott Miller said.

Inattentive driving is the number one cause of accidents in Kentucky.

From June 1 to Labor Day 2009, there were five fatal accidents in the five counties the Hazard post oversees. Two were caused by inattentive driving.

"That could have been avoided just by simply paying attention to what you're doing and what's going on the road," Miller said.

Police plan to conduct more checkpoints for seat belts and DUI's across the state. Prosecutors will do their part as well.

"They go out there and prove where the crime's at, and it's our job to prove them," Knott County Attorney Tim Bates said.

"When they come into Breathitt District Court, we do our best to make sure there's a penalty for their action," Breathitt County Attorney Brendon Miller said.

During the general assembly, lawmakers decided to make texting while driving illegal. A new law concerning drug DUI's will also be enforced.

"Basically we would not have to prove the amount in the system. We would just have to prove that there is some amount and that they did not have a prescription from that specific drug," Bates said.

Everyone at this conference hopes through teamwork and public awareness, they can keep all drivers safe.

If you would like to report inattentive drivers on the roads, call State Police at 1-800-222-5555.

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