Danville police implementing 'Operation Safe T'

February 13, 2004|GARY MOYERS

Danville Police Department has a plan to cut down on rising traffic problems in an area known as the "T."

Beginning Saturday, officers plan to implement "Operation Safe T" in the area on Hustonville Road from Baughman Avenue to Popplewell Lane, and on the U.S. 150 bypass from Stewarts Lane to Gose Pike. The initiative will include increased traffic patrols, a public information and education campaign, and cooperation with the Kentucky Department of Transportation in an effort to make that area safer.

"Our goal is to provide safe thoroughfares for the motoring public and reduce the risk of injury or property damage," said Danville Police Chief Jeff Peek. He said "Operation Safe T" will last through Labor Day.

Money from a federal highway safety grant will be used to fund overtime patrols, Peek said, and officers on regular patrol will focus attention in the area.


Peek said the "T" was the site of nearly 25 percent of the city's 708 reported traffic collisions in 2003. Specifically, Peek said the area between Lisa Avenue and the bypass had the highest concentration of accidents. The total number of vehicle collisions rose 5 percent from 2002 to 2003, but the number of injury accidents rose almost 25 percent.

Peek said many collisions in the area were the result of courteous motorists allowing vehicles to pull out into traffic. A driver, thinking the way is clear, will pull out to cross two lanes of traffic and get hit by another vehicle. He said this is especially true of vehicles exiting the Reno's/National City Bank entrance who attempt to turn left onto Hustonville Road.

"I would never advocate being discourteous to another driver, but you may not be doing them a favor by allowing them pull out across traffic at this particular intersection," said Peek. "Turning left from Reno's or Danville Manor is a risky proposition, and I would discourage motorists from doing so during high traffic times. There are other exits that are not as close to the big intersection that may be safer and will actually save you time."

Peek said other risk factors in the high traffic areas include improper turns and lane changes, failure to yield right of way, disregarding traffic control devices, following too closely and speeding.

Police will be issuing tickets to drivers who drive in an unsafe manner, Peek said.

"No one likes to get a ticket and we hope the word gets around to be extra careful in this area so we won't have the need to issue one," he said. "However, the cost and inconvenience of a citation is negligible in comparison to the cost and grief associated with a collision."

One part of the initiative has already begun, Peek said. State road workers have already installed shields around the lights at May Boulevard to address a visual perception problem with the lights at the intersection of Hustonville Road and the bypass. Peek said drivers reported having problems discerning between the lights at the two intersections as they were traveling east. He believes the shields will cause motorists to focus on the lights at May Boulevard.

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