Driving safely on Derby weekend; KSP to provide extra patrol on I-65

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – While traveling to Louisville for the Derby, it’s always important to stay safe on the road.

The Kentucky State Police gave some tips on how to make it to The Run of the Roses safely this weekend.

“The big three that we always talk about is make sure you have that seatbelt because if you are involved in a collision, that’s one of the main things that can keep it from being a critical incident; whether somebody is seriously injured or killed in a fatality,” says KSP trooper Daniel Priddy.

“Make sure you’re paying attention to the roadway, it’s a hectic time,” Priddy says. “Everybody has their cell phones, everybody has a lot of things going on. When there’s more vehicles on the roadway than usual, things can happen in front of you a lot quicker, so make sure you’re paying attention.”

The third and final point he makes is an often forgotten one – despite the impending Kentucky Derby, it’s not a race on the roads.

“Reduce those speeds. I know that a lot of people get in a hurry, but that’s why we want everybody to kinda leave a little early, build a little bit of time into your travel. That way, if you’re stuck in traffic, you won’t be in a hurry and if you get there a little early, that’s fine. Usually when people get in a hurry, they increase their speeds which increases the likelihood of a collision,” Priddy says.

If you decide to have an alcoholic beverage before heading home, make sure you plan ahead by securing a ride or finding a designated driver.

“We do want people to take some precautions; those who are attending derby parties, we want everybody to have a good time but also need to think about designated drivers for those that are participating in alcohol beverages,” Wes Watt of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says. “It is important to pre-plan those things so you know ahead of time who’s going to give you a ride home before you even get there.”

As a precaution, there will be extra Kentucky State Troopers on Interstate 65 this weekend to make sure everyone makes it to and from Churchill Downs in the safest way possible.