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811 Fines On The Rise

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You’ve heard Gov. Steve Beshear's radio ads reminding citizens to call 811 before digging. Now, the fine for failing to heed that advice is going up.

It’s about to become a more costly mistake for those ignoring the “Call 811” campaign. Passed during the 2014 General Assembly and going into effect this week is Senate Bill 228, a measure adding an additional $1,000 to the existing penalties for damaging underground lines containing flammable, toxic, corrosive, or hazardous material. Before Tuesday, the fine would have been just $250.

Tim Vaughn with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet say there are a number of reasons – apart from the fine – that residents should call ahead.

"We want everybody to go home safe every day, no injuries, no one causing outages that are unnecessary. And it's very expensive to make repairs to facilities that are damaged," he says in a KTC video.

In a release, Columbia Gas of Kentucky president Herbert Miller said the legislation stiffening penalties reinforces the importance of calling 811.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.