Gridlock bill OK'd in Kentucky

| 4/3/2006

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed a bill Thursday, March 30, that is intended to reduce gridlock in the state caused by wrecks.

The “Quick Clearance” bill won unanimous consent in the House and Senate on its way to the governor’s desk.

The new law, previously HB272, mandates that drivers remove their vehicles from traffic lanes after wrecks, as long as the vehicles are still drivable and no serious injuries were suffered. It also allows law enforcement at the scene to order vehicles to be towed to a parking area or safe place nearby.

Rep. David Osborne, R-Prospect, said the legislation is long overdue. He said studies have shown that more than 20 percent of all wrecks nationwide occur as a result of drivers reacting to an existing wreck scene or because of a backup situation.

The governor also noted the effect this legislation could have on the state’s economy.

“This is the era of ‘just-in-time’ delivery,” Fletcher said in a recent statement. “Getting accidents handled quickly lessens the associated damage that lengthy backups cause for Kentucky’s economy.”

House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, also said the new rule would be beneficial to the state.

“When our interstates are clogged because of accidents, time is lost, connections and appointments are missed, deliveries are delayed, and the costs, both directly and indirectly can be substantial,” Richards said in a written statement. “This bill speaks directly to those problems.”

The new rule takes effect in July.