NHTSA today announced the release of $562 million in grants for highway safety programs to Offices of Highway Safety in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, United States territories, and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“These highway safety grants will help save lives by addressing impaired driving, promoting seat belt use, improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety and funding other important traffic safety efforts,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The agency announced $297 million in State and Community Highway Safety Program (Section 402) funds that will be used to enhance highway safety for all Americans through activities such as:
High-visibility enforcement campaigns (e.g., Click It or Ticket, related to seat belt use, and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, related to impaired driving);
Enforcement of state laws on seat belt use, impaired driving, and distracted driving;
Public information and educational campaigns regarding special safe-driving emphasis weeks (e.g., St. Patrick’s Day – driving sober, and Labor Day – driving safely near schools as the new school year begins); and
Programs supporting proper use of child safety seats, including inspection stations where caregivers can confirm that their child safety seat is installed properly.
Additional grants awarded to state, territorial, and BIA Offices of Highway Safety under the National Priority Incentive Programs (Section 405) will be used to make U.S. highways safer, including:
$147.5 million for impaired driving countermeasures, to combat driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
$41.5 million for state traffic safety information systems, to help states build databases related to crashes;
$37.1 million for occupant protection, for seat belt education and enforcement;
$17 million for distracted driving prevention;
$14.3 million for pedestrian and bicyclist safety programs;
$4.3 million for motorcyclist safety; and
$2.1 million for impaired driving ignition interlock and 24/7 sobriety programs, to enact testing or monitoring of DUI for alcohol use.
“We know that most of the 36,560 roadway fatalities in 2018 related to behavioral issues such as speeding, alcohol and drug-impaired driving, distraction, motorcycle safety, and seat belt usage. The grants we’re announcing today will help our partners in state and local law enforcement and other transportation officials enforce their highway laws and educate the public so that our roads will be safer for everyone,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens.
The top 10 states receiving NHTSA grants were California ($50.1 million); Texas ($39.2 million); New York ($29 million); Florida ($26.1 million); Illinois ($21.1 million); Pennsylvania ($19.8 million); Ohio ($17.8 million); Michigan ($16.4 million); Georgia ($15.4 million); and New Jersey ($14.6 million).