© 2024 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lexington summit puts all transportation safety concerns under one umbrella

A first-of-its-kind transportation safety summit is underway in Lexington. The conference comes as lawmakers continue to weigh new measures to cut down on highway worker accidents.

Nearly 50 people have lost their lives in work zones on Kentucky highways in the last five years. Seven of them were Kentucky Transportation Cabinet workers or contract employees.

For the first time, the Kentucky Safety Summit is bringing all transportation safety topics for travelers and workers under the same umbrella – with sessions ranging from bridge inspection to crash reconstruction.

While the summit is more about encouraging safe practices for individuals, Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Director Bill Bell says there is interest in how speed cameras in work zones might help ease traffic. He says it’s a challenge to enforce things like reduced speed limits in the confines of work areas.

“There's not a whole lot of opportunities for law enforcement to pull somebody over in a work zone. With the lack of emergency lanes, there may only be one lane,” Bell says. “So that additional feature of having that automated enforcement, I believe, based on other states will slow down the traffic.”

A bill that would have set up a pilot program for speed cameras at work zones in Kentucky did make its way out of committee but stalled in the House.

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.