For first time since 2013, Kentucky highway deaths in 2017 were down from previous year

For the first time since 2013, Kentucky saw a decrease in highway fatalities from the previous year, according to Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.

Initial numbers show that there were 770 highway-related deaths in Kentucky in 2017, according to the highway safety office. The number dropped from 834 in 2016.

“We are encouraged by the reduction in fatalities and want the traveling public to know they’ve done a great job in helping our efforts to save lives,” said Noelle Hunter, executive director of the agency.

Drivers will be praised on state-operated overhead and roadside electronic signs, which will read, “GOOD JOB KY! HWY DEATHS DOWN IN ’17,” according to the agency.

State traffic officials are working to achieve an even lower number in 2018.

“We hope this encourages more motorists to slow down, always wear their seat belt and never drive drunk or distracted,” Hunter said. “Let me be clear: While this achievement is to be celebrated, we believe one fatality is too many and are committed to continue working with our local, state and federal highway safety partners until this number is zero.”