The Highway Safety Coordinator works in partnership and as an extension of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety programs through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in efforts to reduce traffic collisions, fatalities, injuries, and economic losses relating to traffic collisions through the four “E’s” of transportation Safety:
4. Emergency Response
The Cumberland Valley Area Development District's (CVADD) region includes 8 of 120 counties: Bell, Clay, Harlan,
Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle, and Whitley. The CVADD region has seen an increase in the total number of crashes
over recent years and is striving to continue in the efforts to lower the number of crashes in the region. The Kentucky Office
of Highway Safety statistics shows a 1.2% increase in crashes from 6,093 in 2020 to 6,425 in 2021. During 2021, 1,100 of
the crashes resulted in injuries and approximately 53 resulted in fatalities with a 1% increase shown in the number of
injuries and a 1% decrease shown in fatalities from 2020 to 2021. Through continuing educational outreach regarding
highway safety in the CVADD region, crash statistics could continue to show a decrease. The CVADD has outlined several
goals and objectives to target the major contributors of the crashes and fatalities that are occurring throughout our region to
further improve safety.
According to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety statistics, 4,871 of crashes in 2021, occurred in Laurel, Bell, Knox and
Whitley Counties within the CVADD region. Among these counties Whitley and Laurel Counties rank the highest for
fatalities, as well as fatalities reported not using child restraints. The Kentucky State Police Posts 7, 10 and 11 in the
CVADD region data records indicate in 2020 361 Child Passenger Safety citations were recorded and for 2021 357 Child
Passenger Safety citations were recorded with a 1.1% decrease shown in the amount of child passenger safety citations.
The state child safety seat usage rate is relatively high at 98%, according to statistics from the Kentucky Office of Highway
Safety. However, during previous Child Passenger Safety events certified CPS technicians within the CVADD region have
reported that 99.6% of the child passenger safety seats are installed incorrectly, which leads to a higher rate of injuries and
The Cumberland Valley Area Development District's roadways consist primarily of rural routes. Over the years, research
has shown that the number of fatalities in rural areas is consistently higher than those in urban areas. This factor, in
conjunction with the lack of education, awareness, and disregard for the laws, has led to unsafe highway conditions. As a
result, the main audiences for the CVADD Highway Safety Program will be elementary schools, pregnancy centers,
Department for Community Based Services and citizens residing in Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle,
and Whitley counties. Parents/Guardians of school age children, particularly those of lower incomes, continue to be
reminded of the importance of Child Passenger Safety. This outlet will reach a diverse number of people. In addition,
public events, including but not limited to, career/health facilities will provide another outlet to reach a broader range of
citizens throughout the CVADD region.
In addition, CVADD staff will conduct Child Passenger Safety check events along with Certification/Recertification Classes
in the CVADD region and assist the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. These classes will provide the opportunity to have
additional certified CPS tech's and instructors.
If you are interested in learning more about the Highway Safety program in the Cumberland Valley Area, or would like to schedule an event, please call the local ADD coordinator, Dreama Wright at 606-864-7391 or email.