A car wreck or disaster can be a loved one’s worst nightmare,  waiting and wondering by the phone when unable to reach someone. Kentuckians can now breathe a little easier knowing they have the opportunity to stay informed with a simple online tool that helps connect law enforcement with designated contacts in case of an accident or other emergency. 

On March 7, Governor Matt Bevin, surrounded by law enforcement and transportation officials, officially unveiled the launch of, “Emergency Notice”.  A new online emergency contact registry accessible only by law officials in the event that a Kentucky Driver’s license, personal identification, or permit cardholder becomes involved in a serious crash or emergency situation.

Knox County Sheriff Mike Smith believes the information which is integrated into the participants driving record will be very beneficial if needed. 

“It will enhance our ability to get information out quickly and efficiently,” Smith stated. 

The service is only applicable to Kentucky cardholders and validation with license number, date of birth, and first and last name will be required. Participants may submit one contact name, relationship, and telephone number, but can be updated at any time. Users are also responsible for keeping the information accurate via the Emergency Notice portal or the drive.ky.gov website. Kentuckians with limited internet access may provide emergency information in person at the Circuit Court Clerk office in their county or by calling KYTC at 502-564-1257.

Barbourville resident Carla Lawson is excited to utilize the new service and is grateful there is now a new procedure to get in touch with the right people instead of running the risk of finding out on social media. 

"I’m all for anything that takes a step toward alerting parents and family before they see the accident on social media or the news,” Lawson stated.  “Even those posts that say “names are withheld until the family is notified” are useless. I can recognize my girls’ vehicles in a distant photo whether their names are given or not. People don’t think of the collateral damage they do to “let people know what’s going on." Having a procedure to get in communication with the next of kin or emergency contact as soon as possible would be a great idea if it is handled and updated properly.”

You may reach Nikita at nbranstetter@mountainadvocate.com