18.9 percent involved alcohol
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 13, 2015) — Highway fatalities increased in 2014, with 672, compared to 638 in 2013, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) announced today. The 2013 total was the lowest since 573 in 1949.
Of the 672 fatalities last year, 521 were in motor vehicles, 61 percent were not wearing a seat belt and 18.9 percent involved alcohol. Motorcyclists accounted for 76 fatalities, with 59.4 percent not wearing helmets and 7 percent involving alcohol.
KOHS executive director Bill Bell said two highway safety bills that recently passed the legislature will help Kentucky make progress toward its goal of zero deaths.
Senate Bill 133 requires repeat DUI offenders to blow into the ignition interlock device, which is installed on the vehicle. The vehicle will not start if the person’s blood-alcohol concentration exceeds a 0.02 level. First-time DUI offenders are not required to have the device installed unless there is an aggravating circumstance, such as speeding or driving drunk with a child in the car.
House Bill 315 increases the height requirement for booster seats to 57 inches and the age requirement to 8 years old. The previous law required children under 7 years old and between 40 and 50 inches tall to ride in booster seats.