- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 8, 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Highway safety officials in Kentucky have launched a campaign aimed at preventing traffic crashes by encouraging motorists to buckle up and put down their phones.

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety launched the “Buckle Up Phone Down” campaign Monday. It features videos, radio spots, digital advertising and a new dedicated website to promote the initiative.

Officials say that distracted driving results in more than 50,000 crashes in Kentucky each year, along with more than 15,000 injuries and about 200 deaths. Officials say that distracted driving behaviors - such as texting, emailing and talking - are discouraged and drivers are urged to not interact with their phone.

Officials say that overall highway fatalities in Kentucky declined in 2018 to 724, down from 782 in 2017.

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