FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2023) – This week, November 13 – 17, Kentucky is partnering with the Federal Highway Administration for Crash Responder Safety Week, to bring awareness to first responders working crash scenes on roadways, putting their lives at risk to clear incidents and keep traffic moving.
“Kentucky drivers, please help us protect those who protect you,” Gov. Beshear said. “When passing an incident scene, slow down and, if possible, move over to provide a protective buffer between responders and motorists. To all our first responders, thank you for your service and dedication to our commonwealth.”
The Governor recognized the state’s first responders for quickly providing emergency services to crash victims; the Kentucky State Police (KSP), local law enforcement agencies, firefighters, emergency medical services, towing and recovery and highway departments. Collectively, these traffic incident responders assist road users in need, applying well-rehearsed procedures to provide emergency traffic control and quickly clear incidents from roadways.
“Oftentimes we work crash scenes within inches of cars and trucks going by way too fast, sometimes 80 miles per hour or more,” said Captain Paul Blanton, KSP Public Affairs Commander. “We want drivers to understand the risks we take every day and the need for every vehicle passing by any traffic incident to slow down, move over and stay alert.”
Unfortunately, in April 1973, KSP Trooper Joseph Ward was working a crash scene on US 25 in Hopkins County when he was hit by a car that failed to move over for first responders. Ward was 25 years old and a 4-year veteran of the agency.
Tragic stories like Trooper Ward’s underscore the necessity for initiatives like Crash Responder Safety Week. The Federal Highway Administration, along with national partners, states and local responders, are invested in working to reduce the number of traffic incidents involving responders who suffer injuries or lose their lives in the line of duty.
The national event promotes Move Over law awareness for drivers and free National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Responder Training for responders.
Throughout the week, KSP plans to spotlight Crash Responder Safety and high-visibility enforcement efforts through the agency’s social media platforms to bring awareness to the sacrifices KSP and other emergency service agencies have made while handling roadside incidents.
For more information about KSP’s commitment to creating a better Kentucky by making the commonwealth’s streets safer, communities stronger and the nation more secure by providing exceptional law enforcement, click here.