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KYTC launches ‘Paint the Plow’ school art program to promote safe driving in snow and ice – NKyTribune | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Class is in session, Kentucky.

High school students across the Commonwealth are sending the public safe driving messages for snow and ice season through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s new statewide Paint the Plow program.

The cabinet provides snowplow blades, which students decorate with messages that promote safe driving habits during inclement winter weather and prepare students to operate vehicles responsibly as they become eligible to drive.

Schools in all 120 counties across Kentucky’s 12 highway districts are eligible to participate. Plow blade availability varies, so most districts have decided to select applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested schools must contact their district’s Public Information Officer to apply. If selected, the plow blade design should focus on road safety and winter weather. More guidelines and specifications are on the KYTC website.

(Image from KYTC)

“Seeing your child get behind the wheel for the first time is frightening for a lot of parents,” said Gov. Andy Beshear, who has made transportation safety a top priority of his administration. “Nothing is more important than a child’s safety. It’s wonderful to see our high schools participating in this program. Many of the participating students are new drivers or will be behind the wheel soon, and this is an excellent opportunity for them to learn and promote the safe driving habits we as parents want them to practice.”

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) will also contact participating schools to further promote and educate students on safe driving habits. Highway safety liaisons can engage with students through the following options:

• Educational pamphlets
• Impairment goggles activities
• Rollover crash simulator
• Drunk driving simulator
• Distracted driving simulator
• Ghost out program

“Teenagers may be eager to start driving and become more independent. However, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States,” said KOHS Executive Director Bill Bell. “Driving is a lifelong learning process and those first years are vital in building a solid foundation of safe driving habits.”

On average over the last five years, 32% of crashes statewide, 29% of injuries, and 28% of fatalities have occurred between December and March – Kentucky’s snow and ice season. Fourteen percent of those crashes, 15% of the injuries and 8% of the fatalities involved a teenage driver, aged 16-19.

“From Day 1 I’ve said this job is about the people,” said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “This program will help us spread safe driving messages for the people working on the road and the people behind the wheel. Practicing these safe habits becomes increasingly important in inclement weather, especially during our snow and ice season, to ensure everyone returns home at the end of the day.”

Once designs are submitted and approved, public information officers will coordinate with schools to drop off and pick up plow blades. The following guidelines will be in place to ensure the safety of all who participate:

• Plow blades will be placed in an area that KYTC can access if equipment is needed for inclement weather
• No persons other than qualified KYTC staff may move the blades
• If movement is required, the school must contact their public information officer to make arrangements
• No person should climb, sit, lean on or otherwise apply force to the plow

For additional snow and ice information, videos and resources, priority routes and more go to transportation.ky.gov. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety works tirelessly to uphold its mission to support effective and collaborative partnerships to advance traffic safety awareness, education and enforcement in an effort to save lives on Kentucky roadways. Take a moment to learn more about the Office of Highway Safety.

Kentuckians are eligible to receive learner permits at age 16. Intermediate licenses are awarded 180 days after holding a permit and 60 hours of driving practice. After 180 days with an intermediate license, and after completing the graduated driver licensing course, an appointment can be scheduled at any Driver Licensing Regional office to have a full-unrestricted license issued.

Links to schedule a written or driving test with KSP, a printable Kentucky Driver Manual, and other information needed to obtain a standard license or REAL ID can be found on the KYTC drivers page.

Kentucky Department of Transportation

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