GRAVES COUNTY, Ky. (KFVS) - Drivers in Graves County, Kentucky are being urged to update commercial GPS units to help cut down on crashes and traffic issues.
The suggestion by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is being made specifically for drivers who use the Interstate 69 Mayfield Exit 21 interchange near the end of the U.S. 45 bypass.
KYTC reports commercial trucks arriving at the intersection with U.S. 45 often create safety issues when they try to make U-turns. The wayward trucks have caused a number of crashes and damage to driveways where they attempt to turn around.
In addition to urging drivers to update their GPS units, KYTC has installed additional signage at exit 21 on I-69 to help direct traffic.
The problems with wayward trucks started when the new interchange opened in 2018. The new interchange altered the connection of I-69 southbound and the remaining section of the Purchase Parkway.
Traffic now moves to the left to the Kentucky-Tennessee state line at Fulton.
Taking the ramp to the right takes drivers to the remaining section of the U.S. 45 bypass on the southwest edge of Mayfield.
KYTC said it has proactively asked national companies that provide data to GPS units to review their maps of the area and to make changes which reflect the changes of the new interchange.
"We think some of the safety issues are due to cross-country truckers and travelers using GPS units that contain outdated information,” said KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat. “We strongly encourage truck drivers and other travelers to update their GPS map data several times a year. Truckers should use GPS units designed for commercial trucks instead of cell phone mapping systems designed for passenger vehicle drivers. All drivers should carefully observe roadway signage to assure the GPS is taking you where you want to go.”
Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden said his deputies spend considerable time responding to wayward trucks.
“We’re generally out there a few times each week," said Sheriff Hayden. "We’ve had drivers, especially semi drivers, say they were confused and ended up in the wrong place. We’re optimistic the additional signage and other efforts by our transportation folks will help, but we need drivers to do their part by upgrading their GPS units.”
Drivers can get information on upgrading their GPS navigation units by going to the manufacturer’s website.