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December 10, 2012

London trooper honored

CORBIN — Special to the Times-Tribune

On Wednesday, Kentucky State Police Post 11, London, Sgt. Steve Walker was honored by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS)  at the 2012 Governor’s Impaired Driving Enforcement Awards ceremony held at the Galt House Hotel and Suites in Louisville, according to the Post’s Public Affairs Officer Trooper First Class Don Trosper.

 Walker, who has earned the award 18 times, is a 30-year veteran of the KSP and earned this years award for arresting 277 impaired drivers over the past year.

 “Impaired driving is not an accident — it’s an epidemic of careless disregard for human life,” said KOHS Director Bill Bell, who presented the awards at the ceremony. “These officers, their departments and agencies render a great service for public safety by removing drunken and drugged drivers from our roads.”

 Last year, Kentucky recorded more than 5,600 crashes related to drugs and alcohol, resulting in 150 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries.

 “Public safety improves exponentially every time an impaired driver is removed from the roadway,” said Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer.  “Were it not for the actions of these men and women, there would undoubtedly be more crashes, injuries or worse on our roadways.”

 According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1 in 3 Americans will be impacted by a drunken driving crash in his or her lifetime.

“Research shows high-visibility enforcement reduces impaired-driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent,” said NHTSA Region III Law Enforcement Liaison Bill Tower. “While many people are getting the message, there are still too many who just don’t understand that alcohol and driving are a fatal combination.”

Matt Jones with Kentucky Sports Radio recorded a public service announcement encouraging the use of designated drivers that airs during his daily radio show.  Jones took the opportunity to praise the officers for their commitment to keeping Kentucky roads safe.

 “Hard-working, high-profile coaches and athletes receive public recognition and accolades for their jobs,” said Jones.  “You are here today because of your hard work and dedication to your job of saving lives, and we value your efforts.”

 To raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and to alert the public of an increased enforcement presence over the holidays, the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign will begin Dec. 14, 2012, and run through Jan. 1, 2013.  This campaign is sponsored by NHTSA and the KOHS.

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