Beshear launches HERO campaign

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Kentucky joins national effort to encourage use of designated drivers

By Sarah Bennett

The HERO campaign was established by the family of U.S. Navy Ensign John Elliott of Atlantic County, N.J. According to the campaign’s website, Elliott was returning home for his mother’s birthday in 2000 when he was involved in a head-on collision with a drunken driver.

“The HERO campaign is not an anti-drinking campaign,” according to its mission. “Instead, we encourage common sense and responsibility by promoting individuals to ‘Be a HERO. Be a Designated Driver.’”

As of Dec. 18, 710 fatalities have been reported on Kentucky roadways in 2012, which is 10 more than reported during the same period last year, according to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. Of those, 129 involved suspected alcohol use, which accounts for 18 percent of the year’s reported fatalities.

The campaign works in cooperation with schools, community-based organizations, law enforcement agencies and businesses, including bars, taverns and restaurants, according to its website.

According to the governor’s office, the HERO campaign is partnering with KOHS, state police and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

To promote Kentucky’s program, posters will be displayed throughout the state and commercials will air on television and radio stations, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.