Fatal crashes increase in Kentucky and Indiana - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fatal crashes increase in Kentucky and Indiana

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---Take a ride with Kentucky State Police.

"What we look for a majority of the time is just simple traffic violations," says Trooper Mark Sallin with Kentucky State Police.

Traffic violations are something they, and other law enforcement agencies, see and hear about quite often.

"We get complaints of suspected drunk drivers or distracted drivers from time to time," says Trooper Mark Sallin.

In the worst cases, it's a fatal crash.

Just 4 days into 2013, and signs are up along I-64 and other roads saying "Zero fatalities in 2013...great start Kentucky".

This comes after a year when the numbers weren't so great.

So far, police estimate 738 people died in 2012 on Kentucky roads.

"In 2011 we came in at 720, so we're up 18 from last year," says Sgt. Rick Saint-Blancard with Kentucky State Police.

That's something they aren't taking lightly.

"It's discouraging to see that number because we do know the impact of fatalities on family and friends, brothers and sisters, so we realize that. Those are all 738 funerals that the state of Kentucky has to do or wherever they originate from," says Sgt. Saint-Blancard.

Law enforcement agencies say speed and distracted driving were both factors behind the increase.

Alcohol related crashes are also a problem.

It's why they're focusing on educational programs to combat the growing number and problem of traffic fatalities.

While they say they are doing their part, they're hoping drivers will too.

"It's unfortunate that sometime they won't do something until it hits them close, so the more awareness, education and presence we have out there, we believe it's gonna have an impact at some point in time," says Sgt. Saint-Blancard.

Indiana State Police soon hope to have their numbers finalized, but say it appears they had 770 fatal crashes last year, up 2 percent from 2011.

As of Thursday, they already had several fatal crashes for 2013.

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