Tribune-Courier News Editor
FRANKFORT – The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and the Benton and Calvert City police departments have received nearly $40,000 in grant monies to help enforce laws along area roadways.
The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) has awarded over $4.7 million to law enforcement agencies and highway safety organizations across the commonwealth to help bolster safety enforcement and education in local communities. The federally funded grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are administered by the KOHS, which is part of the Transportation Cabinet.
Those dollars are used at the local level to enforce laws at road blocks and other initiatives, as well as provide overtime pay.
“Law enforcement activities, combined with highway safety programs, are critical in the effort to keep Kentucky highways safe,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock. “These grants will help provide needed resources to improve safety in local communities across Kentucky.”
The Sheriff’s Department received the largest portion of funding at $20,500. Benton received $8,500 and Calvert City $10,573.
The Marshall County Health Department also received $21,500 for “occupant protection.”
More than $2.9 million was awarded to 109 law enforcement agencies for overtime enforcement and equipment. More than $1.8 million was also awarded to 15 organizations involved with highway safety for various educational programs, equipment and training.
Forty-eight fewer lives have been lost so far in 2011 on Kentucky highways, compared with the same time period in 2010.
Of the 760 people killed on highways last year, 598 were in motor vehicles. Of those killed, 62.5 percent were not buckled up and 20 percent of fatalities involved alcohol. Motorcyclists accounted for 78 fatalities, with 57.7 percent not wearing helmets and 15.4 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involving alcohol.
According to information provided by the Transportation Cabinet, fatalities have decreased the last five years after peaking at 985 in 2005.
For more information regarding the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, please visit http://highwaysafety.ky.gov/.