Kentucky law will require quick clearance of wrecked vehicles

| 4/26/2006

Gov. Ernie Fletcher has signed a bill that is intended to reduce gridlock caused by wrecks on Kentucky roads.

The “Quick Clearance” law requires drivers to remove their vehicles from traffic lanes after minor wrecks. The new rule takes effect in July.

The new law, previously SB44, mandates that drivers remove their vehicles from traffic lanes, 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.

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

He said studies have shown that more than 20 percent of wrecks are secondary wrecks 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.”