Transportation Cabinet shares $675,000 grant from federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration
On May 25, 2007, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) announced the receipt of $675,000 in grant funds from the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA). The grant is being shared with Kentucky State Police (KSP), who will use $400,000 of the money to expand automated drivers license testing capabilities statewide with the use of laptops.
“Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s directive to the Transportation Cabinet requires us to constantly look for ways to improve our efficiency and to provide better service to all citizens, as well as to other state agencies,” said KYTC Secretary Bill Nighbert. “We very much appreciate this assistance from the FMCSA, and we applaud the work done by the Department of Vehicle Regulation and the Kentucky State Police in order to secure the grant.”
The portable laptop approach will help prevent fraud by discontinuing the use of bubble sheets and paper test history cards. Throughout the week, KSP examiners will travel from one test site to another with one examiner laptop and two to four testing laptops. Test scores will be downloaded directly to the KYTC Division of Driver Licensing (DDL) mainframe.
“This funding will be a great help in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of our driver testing mission,” said KSP Commissioner Jack Adams.
A portion of the grant, $190,000, will be used by the KYTC to institute an electronic Failure to Answer Summons (FTA) program, which will lead to a vast improvement in the accuracy and efficiency of the process of enforcing sanctions related to traffic violations.
The new funding will pave the way for FTA information to be electronically transmitted from 120 Kentucky courts directly to the KYTC Division of Driver Licensing (DDL) computer system, thereby eliminating several stages of manual handling of transactions. With the information obtained from the courts, the DDL sends out letters, which give offending drivers 30-60 days to satisfy citations before their licenses are suspended.
“This project will enable us to eliminate two re-keying assignments, which will tremendously enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the whole process,” explained Commissioner of Vehicle Regulation Roy Mundy. “The changes we are about to make will improve the rate of fine collection by the courts from traffic violations. It will also remove more than a quarter million manual transactions from the procedure, which will save a lot of time and money for both the DDL and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).”
Under the current system approximately 80,000 FTA notices are sent per year.
Another $25,000 of the grant will be used by the KYTC to purchase shredders for approximately 25 of the highest volume locations among circuit clerks’ offices in the commonwealth. The shredders will be used to destroy old driver’s licenses.
“Until now the old licenses were stored in boxes and eventually shipped to the Transportation Cabinet to be destroyed,” Mundy pointed out. “Now they will be destroyed as soon as they are turned in, which will reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft.”
The FMCSA grant also included funding for computer programming to change the S Restriction to an S Endorsement for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who intend to drive a school bus.