Grants to be awarded for highway safety

by Roger Murphy
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MONTGOMERY- Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded grants totaling $1.3 million to fund extra patrols and continue other programs to minimize motor vehicle injuries and fatalities on Alabama roads.

The state’s nine Highway Safety Offices will use the funds for overtime pay to local law enforcement officers in order to boost the number of patrols during peak travel periods like holiday weekends. The additional patrols will target drunken driving, seatbelt use, road rage, speeding and other safety hazards.

“The increased presence of law enforcement officers encourages motorists to obey traffic laws and helps take dangerous drivers off our roadways,” Bentley said. “In addition to extra patrols, we are continuing other initiatives to minimize injuries and improve medical response when crashes occur.”

A $150,000 grant to North Alabama Highway Safety Office will continue a statewide program to help parents install child safety seats correctly in their vehicles. The program trains officers at each of Alabama’s nine highway safety offices in proper installation and use of child safety seats. Throughout the year, officers conduct car seat checks at announced locations across the state.

Bentley also awarded a $75,000 grant to the Northeast Alabama Highway Traffic Safety Office to expand Yellow Dot, a voluntary program that makes details of an individual’s medical history available at the scene of a vehicle crash. Program participants receive a “Yellow Dot” decal to put on the back window of their vehicle to alert first responders to check the glove box for a special folder with the individual’s name, photo and information about medical conditions, allergies and prescriptions. Officials will use the grant to increase participation in the program beyond the 45 counties where it is currently offered.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants with funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the State Traffic Safety Trust Fund. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, infrastructure upgrades, recreation, energy conservation, water resource management, job training and career development.

Bentley awarded the following grants to the state’s nine regional highway safety offices:

• $96,646 to the city of Montgomery for the Central Alabama Highway Safety Office (serves Autauga, Bullock, Elmore, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery and Russell counties);

• $191,304 to the Etowah County Commission for the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office (serves Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, Jackson, Madison and Marshall counties and leads the state effort to expand the Yellow Dot program);

• $199,018 to Jefferson State Community College for the Birmingham Regional Highway Safety Office (serves Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker counties);

• $92,381 to Enterprise State Community College for the Southeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office (serves Barbour, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties);

• $129,580 to the Mobile County Commission for the South Regional Highway Safety Office (serves Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile counties);

• $291,493 to Northwest Shoals Community College for the North Alabama Highway Safety Office (serves Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Marion, Morgan and Winston counties and coordinates child safety seat training for the state);

• $61,000 to the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission for the Highway Traffic Safety Division (serves Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Marengo, Monroe, Washington and Wilcox counties);

• $164,400 to Shelton State Community College for the West Alabama Community Traffic Safety Office (serves Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties);

• $115,885 to Gadsden State Community College for the East Alabama Highway Safety Office (serves Calhoun, Chambers, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Randolph, Talladega and Tallapoosa counties).


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