The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded $562 million in grants to Offices of Highway Safety to fund various initiatives that address impaired driving, promote seat belt use, enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and improve overall roadway safety.
The grants were distributed among all 50 states, the District of Columbia, United States Territories, and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Some $297 million went to State and Community Highway Programs.
California received the largest grant of $50.1 million, followed by Texas with $39.2 million, and New York, which received $29 million.
State funds from the grants will be used for various initiatives including high-profile enforcement campaigns; enforcement of state laws on seat belt usage, impaired driving, and distracted driving; public information and educational campaigns regarding special safe-driving emphasis weeks; and programs supporting proper use of child safety seats.
Additional grants awarded to state, territorial and BIA Offices of Highway Safety include $147.5 million for impaired driving countermeasures and $41.5 million for state traffic safety information systems, to help states build databases related to crashes.
Millions of dollars are also going to occupant protect, distracted driving prevention, bicyclist and pedestrian safety programs, motorcyclist safety, and impaired driving ignition interlock and 24/7 sobriety programs.
In 2018, there were 36,560 roadway fatalities. The NHTSA grants are intended to help state and local law enforcement and other transportation officials enforce highway laws, educate the public, and ultimately, reduce roadway fatalities.