LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A truck driver facing a reckless homicide charge after a fatal collision on I-64 is the latest example of out-of-state truck drivers involved in crashes on Kentucky roads.
The latest records available from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet show 46 percent of truck collisions in 2013 involved out-of-state drivers. The number increased substantially since 2009 when only 25 percent involved out-of-state drivers.
Miroslav Kuzmanovic, 22 of Washington state, is charged with reckless homicide, four counts of wanton endangerment, and a communication device violation. Police said Kuzmanovic was driving a tractor-trailer Wednesday afternoon when he rear-ended a car driven by 71-year-old Doris Wise on I-64 in Shelby County.
The I-64 collision comes less than a week after a UPS driver from Tennessee was charged with drunk driving after running off I-75 in Laurel County.
The American Trucking Association reports trucks moved nearly 10-billion tons of goods up and down the nation’s highways in 2014 employing more than 3.4-million drivers.
"There's more trucks on the road than there were in the past. It's cheaper for companies to move freight by truck than it would be by air, or even by train. You're starting to see a little bit more of an increase in trucks than what you would normally see," Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer Charles Tinsley told WKYT.
As more of the nation’s freights moves along highways, interstates crossing Kentucky become paths for truckers headed across the country.
"Any time you're dealing with truck drivers from other states, it's more of a federal law because they cross state lines. So we would have to honor whatever system they're licensed out of," Tinsley said.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the number of hours drivers can work without required rest breaks. The transportation agency also randomly audits self-administered trucking and bus company drug and alcohol program results.
Along Kentucky roadways, officers with the state’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement say they don't have to have a reason to pull a truck driver over as part random safety checks. Those checks can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete.