(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that $23 million has been awarded to support local and statewide initiatives to improve traffic safety and reduce traffic-related fatalities.
In total, more than 170 grants were awarded to 132 local agencies in 66 counties and to 10 agencies for statewide programming. The grants are administered by the Ohio Traffic Safety Office which is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
“The programs supported by these grants do such important work to encourage safety on our roadways,” said Governor DeWine. “By offering this grant funding each year, the Ohio Traffic Safety Office can help ensure that the message surrounding the dangers of distracted and impaired driving continues to be reinforced.”
“By offering this funding directly to our local traffic safety partners, they have the flexibility to use the funds in a way that best meets the individual needs of their communities,” said Felice Moretti, OTSO director “This funding will enhance their existing work, so it’s more impactful and saves more lives.”
Programs that received traffic safety grants include:
- Statewide Programming ($14,570,331.90) – 29 grants were awarded to agencies to conduct education, enforcement, and awareness initiatives statewide to address traffic safety related priority areas.
- Impaired Driving Enforcement and Selective Traffic Enforcement Program ($4,705,833.61) – 88 grants were awarded to 56 sheriff’s offices and 32 police departments for overtime hours used to impact traffic-related fatal crashes that involve impaired driving via alcohol or drugs, seat belt usage, speed, aggressive driving, motorcycles, and failure to yield.
- Countywide OVI Task Forces ($2,249.931.66) – 10 grants were awarded to agencies to conduct countywide high visibility enforcement, public awareness, and impaired driving initiatives.
- Safe Community programs ($2,102,484.18) – 44 countywide grants were awarded to communities to address traffic safety issues that involve impaired driving via alcohol or drugs, seat belt usage, distracted driving, youthful driving, and motorcycles. Ohio’s Safe Communities network uses local coalitions to deliver traffic safety messages and programs throughout the year at the local level.
The grant funds are directed to OTSO from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support local and statewide focus on traffic safety priority areas, including impaired driving, seat belt usage, distracted driving, youthful driving, and motorcycle safety.
Competitive grant proposals are accepted and reviewed by OTSO. The FFY 2022 competitive grant process solicited grant proposals from state agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges, universities, hospitals, political subdivisions, and other interested groups within selected Ohio counties and jurisdictions based upon the number of fatal crashes.
For a complete list of agencies receiving grants and the amounts, please visit https://ohiohighwaysafetyoffice.ohio.gov/links/otso_federal-grant-awards.pdf
Governor DeWine is a strong supporter of traffic safety programs.. Since taking office in 2019, Governor DeWine has launched several driver safety initiatives, including the creation of the Intersection Safety Program to improve the safety of 150 rural, urban, and suburban intersections across the state; the development of the "Ohio - Ready, Test, Drive!" program to help enhance the skills of new drivers; and the creation of several distracted driving corridors to reduce distracted driving in Ohio. He also created the Ohio Traffic Safety Council within the Ohio Department of Public Safety, increased traffic enforcement in highway work zones by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Aviation Unit, and awarded grant funding to several local courts to provide young drivers with more access to advanced driver training.