The objective of this study was to measure the effectiveness of transportation services by means of a public opinion survey. Results from the mail survey were intended to provide administrators with quantitative measures so that emphasis would be based on the public's perception of specific programs. Questionnaires were mailed to a random sample of 800 licensed drivers in each of Kentucky's 12 highway districts for a total of 9,600 statewide. The total response rate was 51 percent for all districts, with 49 percent considered to be usable responses.

Results from the survey showed that 82 percent of the respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall transportation system. Respondents were generally satisfied with overall maintenance (67 percent). Statewide, the least problems occurred with poor traffic signs and the greatest problem was rough roads. The interstate system was the most appreciated aspect of the transportation system and the most frequently mentioned driver complaint was poor road maintenance.

Of those expressing an opinion, 25 percent indicated highways were worse in Kentucky than other states and 22 percent felt conditions were better. Drivers felt that government spending should increase for rough railroad crossings, road maintenance, and road reconstruction. The strongest support concerning specific laws and regulations was for a motorcycle helmet law and least support was for mandatory retesting of drivers.

When comparing the 1980 and 1984 surveys, satisfaction with the overall transportation system remained the same. A general decline was noted for those dissatisfied with maintenance activities. Drivers in favor of a seatbelt law increased from 30 to 42 percent over the four-year period.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, nor the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.