Kentucky State Police are warning residents of Letcher County and other counties in the KSP Post 13 area that police roadblocks and “moving patrols” will be held during the month of January.
Officials at Post 13 in Hazard issued a press release this week saying that officers will conduct “traffic safety checkpoints and moving patrols” this month in the counties of Letcher, Leslie, Knott, Perry and Breathitt. These enforcement efforts will use troopers, detectives, and KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers assigned to the Hazard post.
Personnel conducting traffic safety checkpoints and mobile patrol will be doing so to improve highway safety by focusing on speeding, seat belt and child restraint usage, impaired driving, motor vehicle equipment safety and lawful registration and licensing of vehicles and drivers, said KSP Post 13 Public Affairs Officer Jody Sims. Officers will also be observing for distracted drivers, especially those who are texting. Any violations of law or other public safety issues that arise will be addressed. The ultimate goal is to increase the safety of the citizens within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Sims said.
The state police notice of the pending roadblocks comes a month after the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that a conviction for drunken driving stemming from a roadblock in Marion County in western Kentucky was improper because motorists weren’t notified properly in advance.
The KSP notice does not give specific dates and locations of where the roadblocks will be set up. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s December ruling, some legal experts say that roadblocks are illegal under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution unless the site for a roadblock has been previously approved, a police supervisor is present, and the location, time and how long police will be stopping cars is advertised, and warning signs are placed announcing the roadblock to oncoming motorists.