Gridlock bill advances in Kentucky

| 2/16/2006

The Kentucky Senate has unanimously approved a measure intended to reduce gridlock caused by accidents. The bill now heads to the House for further discussion.

The “Quick Clearance” bill, sponsored by Sen. Gary Tapp, R-Waddy, would require drivers to remove their vehicles from traffic lanes after minor accidents.

SB44 would mandate that drivers remove their vehicles from traffic lanes, as long as the vehicles are still drivable and no serious injuries were suffered. It also would allow law enforcement at the scene to order vehicles to be towed to a parking area or safe place nearby.

“This is long overdue legislation,” Bill Nighbert, Kentucky’s transportation secretary, said in a written statement.

He said studies have shown that more than 20 percent of accidents are secondary accidents that occur as a result of drivers reacting to an existing accident scene or because of a backup situation.

“In our mission statement, we are committed to providing a safe, secure and reliable highway system that ensures the efficient mobility of people and goods,” Nighbert said. “This is the era of ‘just-in-time’ delivery. Getting accidents handled quickly lessens the associated damage that lengthy backups cause for Kentucky’s economy.”