Kentucky traffic laws that could prevent accidents

Seven hundred sixty-one people lost their lives in fatal crashes in Kentucky in 2015 (the latest year with available statistics). With our state's population of 4,425,092 that year, the rate of death caused by motor vehicle accidents was 17.2 per 100,000 people.

Behind these numbers are thousands of tragic stories. Thousands of families whose lives were forever altered. Most of the fatalities were passengers or drivers in their vehicles; some were bicyclists or pedestrians.

We can all take steps toward reducing – and maybe in the future, eliminating – these deaths by committing to be more aware, conscious drivers. Of course, drivers are not always the people at fault. But by brushing up on these basic traffic safety laws in Kentucky, you can reduce your risk of a deadly accident:

  • There is no bicycle helmet law in Kentucky. But you can prevent the risk of severe brain injury by wearing a helmet when you ride.
  • There is a motorcycle helmet law in place for certain riders. If you are under 21, you must wear a helmet. You must also wear a helmet if you have been licensed for under a year or if you do not carry medical insurance. Other riders are exempt from helmet laws.
  • It is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. There are also increased penalties for high BACs, and mandatory ignition interlock devices when convicted for a high BAC and for multiple convictions.
  • You must wear a seat belt. This is a "primary" law, so you can be pulled over for failure to wear a seat belt.
  • Text messaging is banned for all drivers. This is also a primary law. There is no ban on hand-held devices. School bus drivers are banned from all cell phone use.

You can see more safety laws for our state here.

Safety agencies have developed these laws for a reason. Although they sometimes get modified, repealed or reinstated over the years, you can more or less expect the basic traffic laws to stay the same.