Ky. law enforcement using extra patrols on roads during holiday season to enforce safe traveling

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 10:37 PM EST
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SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - AAA expects holiday travel to bounce back this year and be much busier than last year. This puts a greater threat on the roads of distracted drivers, and drinking and driving.

Law enforcement officers across Kentucky are planning to be out in force to make sure everyone safely gets to those long-awaited family holiday celebrations.

A sobering statistic— 698 people have died on Kentucky roads this year. That’s nearly 700 empty chairs at the table this holiday season, and many because of some form of distracted driving.

“It’s terrible. It tears at your heart. Especially because you’re around the holidays. A lot of times these victims are traveling to and from family members’ homes. And these are preventable,” said Sgt. Eddie Hart with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.

It’s why Scott County deputies, and law enforcement across Kentucky, are on high alert the next six weeks, looking for people behind the wheel that shouldn’t be.

“We typically will follow a motorist. We’ll watch them, we’ll watch their driving. Their driving will tell us the telltale signs of impairment,” Hart said.

Sometimes it’s not alcohol or drugs causing a driver to swerve, it’s their phone distracting them.

“The bigger trends we see now is distracted driving. People taking long trips will put their phones up on their dash and put on a movie, and they’ll watch their favorite movie or television show while they’re traveling down the road at 70, 80 miles an hour,” Hart said.

The six-week campaign is part of both state and federal highway grants that focus on safety, and making sure your holiday season is thankful and merry.

Deputies said drunk driving is not something that just happens in the evening. They often arrest people in the morning and afternoons.

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