Local law enforcement receives highway safety grant money

By Staff reports
The Evening Times
Thu Jan 22, 2009, 07:13 AM EST
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Albany, N.Y. - Gov. David A. Paterson Wednesday announced that New York will receive more than $31 million in grants for highway safety programs across the state. The federal highway safety grants will be distributed by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to nearly 750 state, local and not-for-profit agencies to conduct highway and traffic safety initiatives aimed at increasing driver education, new enforcement efforts to combat drinking and driving, passenger restraint enforcement, aggressive driving and excessive speeding prevention and bicycle and pedestrian safety.
The funding is part of Paterson’s commitment to public safety and improving the quality of life all across New York, and includes $2,580 in Buckle-Up New York and $2,400 in Selective Traffic Enforcement Program funds for the Little Falls Police Department, $2,000 in Selective Traffic Enforcement Program funding for the Dolgeville Police Department and $3,000 in Child Passenger Safety Program funding for Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency. Also receiving grant money is the Ilion Police Department, $1,500 for Buckle-Up New York and $3,300 in Selective Traffic Enforcement Program funds, and the Herkimer Police Department, $7,410 in Selective Traffic Enforcement Program funds and $4,400 for Buckle-Up New York. The grants were sponsored by state Senator James L. Seward and Assemblyman Marc Butler.
“In 2007 New York state had the safest year in history on our highways, as well as the highest seat belt compliance rate on record due to the commitment of all traffic safety partners across the state,” said Gov. Paterson. “The federal funding announced today will provide necessary resources to continue the successful implementation of driver safety initiatives, child passenger programs and traffic enforcement details to combat the many issues challenging motorists across the state.”
Buckle-Up New York is designed to provide grantees with necessary resources to conduct primary seat belt enforcement and education, while Selective Traffic Enforcement Program funding allows law enforcement to target individual traffic safety issues such as speed, aggressive driving and red light running in high crash corridors. Child Passenger Safety Program funds provide for child passenger safety education, car seat checks, the distribution of car seats and child seat fitting stations.
“Our recent highway safety achievements demonstrate that these programs are working well and achieving intended results. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee will be working closely with this year’s grantees to ensure we are continuing to develop and implement new and innovative approaches to help make our roadways even safer,” said Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner David Swarts, who chairs the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
The programs receiving funding this year are integrated into the state’s overall traffic safety strategy and are part of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee’s Highway Safety Plan that is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The initiatives and programs are aimed at the “Four E’s” of highway safety, which are education, enforcement, engineering and evaluation. To be successful, grant applications must incorporate one or more of the “Four E’s” and be consistent with the overall state highway safety plan.
In 2008, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee awarded more than $24.8 million for nearly 700 projects. This year, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee will distribute $31.4 million for 748 highway safety initiatives to address a variety of issues identified by the committee.