ANNAPOLIS, MD News (9/12/2022) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced more than $13 million in federal and state highway safety grants as part of a statewide focus to prevent motor vehicle crashes and eliminate roadway fatalities. The state funds were disbursed at the start of the fiscal year, and the federal funds will be distributed October 1 by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office. In all, more than 90 organizations, agencies, and programs will receive funds.
“Since the beginning of our administration, we have worked to ensure safety on our highways through innovative projects and partnerships,” said Governor Hogan. “These grants will continue to help reduce crashes and fatalities all across the state and ensure highway safety remains a top priority.”
In 2021, there were 562 traffic deaths on Maryland roadways, including 131 pedestrians and six bicyclists. While that number is a decrease compared to 2020 when the state had 573 fatalities, including 138 pedestrians and 15 bicyclists, police reports continue to show speed, impairment, and inadequate or improper seat belt use as the most common contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities.
The highway safety funds announced today will be used for initiatives to:
- Increase the use of seat belts in all seats;
- Prevent impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving;
- Increase safety for pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists;
- Promote the correct use of child passenger safety seats;
- Support police training for highway safety and traffic enforcement;
- Fund overtime enforcement of Maryland’s traffic laws; and
- Increase the efficiency and capability of Maryland’s traffic data systems.
“To eliminate crashes and fatalities in Maryland, we need to work together as partners at the local, state, and federal levels to maintain a safe and reliable highway system and reinforce good driving behaviors,” said MDOT Secretary James F. Ports. “These grants affirm the commitment of MDOT and the Hogan administration to invest in critical transportation projects and initiatives that benefit residents, visitors, and businesses across Maryland.”
In 2019, Maryland enacted the Vision Zero initiative that set a goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries on state roadways by 2030. This goal guides partners as they implement safety programs with grant funding. Vision Zero also serves as a blueprint in development and implementation of Maryland’s 2021-2025 Strategic Highway Safety Plan, a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to reduce fatalities and serious injuries across the state utilizing the “Four Es” of traffic safety—education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency medical services.
The state funds awarded this year can be used for traffic safety initiatives and are allocated based on crash data for each county or organization.
Locally, Washington County Sheriff’s Office will receive $4,950.00, and Hagerstown Police Department will receive $2,000.00.
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