Traffic crash advocates are working with lawmakers to decrease vehicle deaths in Louisville

806 people were killed in traffic crashes in Kentucky last year. 124 of those were right here in Louisville..
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 12:01 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Saturday was World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and for the first time ever, it was celebrated here in Louisville.

Families of local victims are now fighting for change.

806 people were killed in traffic crashes in Kentucky last year with 124 of those being right here in Louisville.

But the advocates and lawmakers at Sunday’s event are hoping to bring that number down to zero.

”I miss my daughter every single day,” shared traffic death advocate Theresa Martinez.

Martinez’s daughter Ashley, was killed in 2012 after a drunk driver crashed into her car head-on.

Now, she’s working to make sure another parent doesn’t experience her pain.

”I advocate to high school students, DUI offenders about the choices they make and how it impacts not only on their families but on the community,” Martinez said.

Martinez was joined by Janet Heston, who lost her son two years ago. He was hit while crossing New cut road.

With the anniversary of her son’s death coming up, Heston says she can’t stop thinking about the future her son and other victims will never have.

”You know my pain is indescribable but Matthew is stuck with nevers. He will never have a family,” said Heston. “People who shared his same fate will never celebrate a holiday with their family again.”

Heston’s nonprofit Matthew’s Bridge, along with Vision Zero Louisville and Taylor New Cut Network are now working with lawmakers to pass a bill that would add cameras to traffic lights. Their hope is to prevent car related deaths.

”These cameras have been proven to help reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries by reducing excessive speeding and red light running,” said Vision Zero Louisville’s Transportation Planner and Program Manager Claire Yates.

Heston says she hopes these traffic cameras will help police battle what she calls a crisis here in Louisville.

”We have speeding and crashes at crisis levels all over the city of Louisville so we can’t just depend on these very few people to be able to monitor where streets are safe for everyone,” Heston said.

Louisville has several incoming projects, including an almost $25 million project set to redesign several streets.

Vision Zero Louisville says they’re working to bring down traffic deaths to zero by 2050.