Transportation Cabinet to host Highway Safety Discussion

Jun. 14—On Monday, June 17, Team Kentucky's Office of Highway Safety is hosting a Highway Safety Discussion. The event will be held at the East Bernstadt Board of Education, which is located at 145 School St, East Bernstadt, KY 40729. The discussion will begin at 6 p.m.

At the event, a presentation will be given by Executive Director Bill Bell, explaining what the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is and what the office does to improve the community. There will also be other members from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety present to help. Bell additionally expects a member from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District Office to attend.

"We'll talk about different issues, as far as impaired driving, distracted driving, and seatbelt safety," Bell stated.

Additionally, the KOHS wants to give citizens of the community an opportunity to share what issues they are seeing or experiencing on a regular basis, and gather their input on what the office can work to improve in their neighborhoods.

A current pressing issue is the lack of citizens who wear their seatbelts, causing a higher fatality rate in the area.

"You're 50% less likely to die in a crash if you're wearing your seatbelt, or to be seriously injured," Bell shared.

The event is required by National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Bell explained that the conversation is not only important to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety because of the requirement, but also due to the number of fatalities in the state of Kentucky.

"It's a way of helping us do things differently, because highway fatalities are increasing. We need to do things differently in our office and across the country," Bell stated. "We have to have public participation and engagement, and take that information we get from the public and consider that when we do our programs."

The discussion will additionally involve time for questions and answers.

According to the 2023 Kentucky Office of Highway Safety's Daily Fatality Statistics Update, last updated on March 26, 2024, London had a total of 57 vehicular fatalities. East Bernstadt was not specifically listed among the locations in the report.

"We've identified these areas as higher crash areas, but the areas that we've selected these areas where they're typically underrepresented or underserved. So that's why we're going to these places instead of just doing your advertisements on the radio or TV, or social media. We're actually going there and having a meeting because we want to make it accessible for the citizens of those communities," Bell stated.

Notably, the KOHS has a program called the High Five Rural Traffic Safety Seat Belt Program. The program began in 2022, focusing on raising seatbelt usage in rural areas as a preventive measure against injuries and fatalities. The program involves community outreach, educational programs at high schools, seat belt surveys, and roadway assessments.

Having launched in Bourbon, Grayson, Knott, Madison, and Perry Counties, the program has already made a significant impact. For example, Perry County was ranked as 1st in the context of unbelted fatalities, however, after over a year of the program's involvement, the county now sits at 78th on the list. The KOHS aims to see a similar improvement throughout Laurel County.

Food and refreshments will be provided at Monday's event, including peanuts, pretzels, chips, protein bars, soft drinks, and water.

Furthermore, at the end of the evening, there will be a door prize for a free one-night stay at the state park of the winner's choosing.

For further inquiries about programs or future events by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, visit their website at