Drivers throughout Kentucky will be seeing less patrolling and more roadblocks from Kentucky State Police as a strategy to reduce fuel use and increase visibility.
State police are shifting enforcement strategies statewide to deal with higher fuel costs, said Commissioner Rodney Brewer.
“When you’re faced with an unexpected rise in costs like we’ve experienced, you have to devise a solution,” Brewer said. “The problem is identifying that solution without changing the level of protection and enforcement currently in place across the commonwealth.”
State police will use Operation CHECK - Concentrated Highway Enforcement Checkpoints in Kentucky - starting Friday and continuing through Labor Day. The campaign will include more than 200 road checks statewide. KSP will use collision data to target specific high-crash locations where the checkpoints will be stationed.
The goal is to increase the visibility of troopers while reducing miles driven, said local post Capt. William Payton.
“We will continue to patrol,” he said. “It will also not have an impact on our ability to respond to calls.”
State police have traditionally set up roadblocks during holidays on peak driving roads, Payton said.
“We’re just going to do more of it,” he said.
Part of the state police mission has always been stationary traffic enforcement, said Trooper Todd Holder, spokesman for state police in Bowling Green.
It is now going to be more of a focus, he said.
“Our goal is to reduce fuel use by 10 percent,” Payton said.
During June, state police decreased fuel use compared to the previous month, yet fuel costs still increased because the cost of fuel had risen so sharply, he said.
“This is something that every law enforcement agency is dealing with,” Payton said.
Reducing roving patrols and using stationary checkpoints will help state police cut down amount of fuel they use. The checkpoints will be effective enforcement while conserving fuel.
“Regardless of the cost of fuel, you have to provide protection,” Brewer said. “But if there are ways to provide effective law enforcement and save lives while reducing fuel costs, that’s what we’ll try to do.”
The road checkpoints will help to remove impaired drivers from the road and increase personal contacts, said Capt. Tim Lucas, commander of the KSP Highway Safety Branch.
“To keep traffic moving, some vehicles are permitted to pass without screening while others are randomly selected for inspection. The drivers who are not stopped for screening are still impacted by the visual exposure of enforcement activity,” he said.
The Bowling Green Police Department is also looking at ways to reduce fuel costs, but the department still has to respond to calls, said Officer Barry Pruitt, spokesman for the department.
“We do let officers use discretion on when to turn off their vehicles,” Pruitt said. “You’ll also see more officers with bicycles on the back of their cars.”
In certain neighborhoods and definitely downtown, officers will be using bicycles more to patrol, he said.
Motorcycles will also be used. Those vehicles get better fuel economy, Pruitt said.
Officers have also been limited in using their vehicles for non-law enforcement driving, he said.
“We’re going to continue to monitor and look at ways we can conserve fuel,” Pruitt said.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Department has also taken some small actions to reduce fuel use, said Maj. Randy Hargis. The animal control deputy’s response to calls is being designed to be more fuel efficient. The office has also cut out proactive animal control efforts, he said.
“Although with only one animal control officer it hasn’t had much of an impact,” Hargis said. “He’s normally out responding to calls.”
In terms of typical patrol, the department has not been able to cut down driving because of call volume, he said.
The office is also responsible for prisoner transport, bringing inmates from throughout the state to court hearings in Warren County, he said.
“Most of our mileage is in transporting prisoners or responding to calls,” Hargis said.
That simply doesn’t leave a lot of room to cut driving, he said.
The following police checkpoints may be established anytime during Operation CHECK in Warren County:
U.S. 31-W at Ky. 240 in Woodburn; Ky. 242 in Rich Pond, at Old Louisville Road, Massey’s Grocery, Hardy & Sons Funeral Home; Ky. 185 at Miller Road; U.S. 68 at Blue Level Road and Carl Jordan Road; Ky. 101 at Allen County line, Ky. 1297 and Three Forks; U.S. 231 S. in Alvaton, U.S. 231 N. at Brookwood Road; Ky. 880 at Rock Creek Apartments, rear side of the airport and Ky. 1435 north; Ky. 884 at Ky. 242; Smallhouse Road at Elrod Road; Ky. 622 at Larmon Mill Road; Beech Bend Road at Double Springs, Garvin Lane and Ky. 185, one mile north of the Bowling Green city limits.
State police checkpoints in Allen County may include:
Ky. 101 at Ky. 1533, U.S. 31- E, Jefferson School Road, Ky. 234 and the Warren County line; U.S. 31-E at Ky. 482, Ky. 1147, Barren County line, Tennessee state line, Jefferson School Road and Harrison School Road; Ky. 100 at Monroe County line, Ky. 99, Ky. 1421, Walker’s Chapel and Simpson County line; Ky. 98 at Monroe County line and near the boat ramp; U.S. 231 at Mount Union Church Road and at Allen County High School, and Ky. 252 at Ky. 517.
In Barren County:
Ky. 70 at Ky. 314 and Ky. 255; Ky. 1846 at Old Lexington Road; U.S. 31-W at Edmonson County line, Ky. 255 and Hart County line; U.S. 68 at Bon Ayr; U.S. 31-E at Allen County line and Jack Turner Road, and Ky. 249, south of Glasgow.
In Butler County:
U.S. 231 at Natcher Parkway, Ky. 403 and Ky. 70; Ky. 70 at Ky. 411, Ky. 185, Ky. 3182, Ky. 1117 and south side of Green River Bridge; Ky. 79 at Old McKendree Chapel Road and Ky. 79; Ky. 403 at Horseshoe Bend Road.
In Edmonson County:
U.S. 31-W at Barren County line, Ky. 100 and Ky. 259; Ky. 259 at Brownsville limits, Ky. 728, Ky. 70, near Kyrock School and at Ky. 185; Ky. 728 at the dam; Ky. 728 at Hart County line.
In Logan County:
U.S. 68 at East Auburn Bypass, Ky. 102, Southern States Fertilizer, Russellville Bypass, fairgrounds entrance, Ky. 1151 and Todd County line; Ky. 1293 at Ky. 107; Ky. 96 at Ky. 102; U.S. 431 at Tennessee state line, Ky. 591, Adairville Truck Stop, Logan Memorial Hospital, Russellville N. Bypass, Epley’s Station, Ky. 1040, Ky. 106 and Peach Orchard Road; Ky. 103 at Ky. 1038; U.S. 79 at Russellville Bypass, Old ITW Plant, railroad curve and Todd County line; Ky. 103 at Simpson County line; Ky. 178 at Ky. 1151; and Ky. 100 at the sawmill.
In Simpson County:
U.S. 31-W North at Ky. 1008 and at Reasonover Drive; U.S. 31-W South at Macedonia Road, Kentucky Stone Entrance, Geddes Road and Lake Springs Road; Ky. 73 at Ky. 100, Rapids Grocery, Robey Bethel Grove Road, Ky. 1008, Ky. 100 and Simpson County line; Ky. 103 at Ky. 100 and Turnertown Road; and Ky. 585 at Ky. 621.