Universities, Alabama Department of Public Health Work Together to Increase Safety on State’s Highways
MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced $3.3 million in grants are being awarded to Auburn University, The University of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Public Health. Funds from the grants will go to their efforts to make Alabama highways safer.
Using data compiled by the University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) and the state Department of Public Health, Auburn University’s Media Production Group will develop media campaigns aimed at encouraging drivers to obey state safety laws and avoid risky behavior when getting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle.
The Alabama Department of Public Health will also conduct a safety campaign geared toward properly securing children in child safety seats.
“No matter your allegiance, having these two flagship universities team up with Public Health creates a winning situation for everyone on our roadways,” Gov. Ivey said. “I am pleased to provide these funds to support these important programs that complement the work our law enforcement officers perform each day to increase safety on Alabama’s roads.”
The University of Alabama’s CAPS, which was awarded about $1.9 million, will continue to develop programs and compile data on crashes, seatbelt use and other statistical information that help the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and other agencies pinpoint “hot spots” where crashes often occur, leading to stepped up patrols and checkpoints in those areas.
Auburn University was awarded a total of $1.1 million for media campaigns to warn motorists of the dangers of driving while texting and/or impaired and not wearing seatbelts. Much of the campaigns will occur around holidays and heavy traffic periods and coincide with nationwide traffic-safety campaigns like “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”.
The Alabama Department of Public Health will use a $60,000 grant to maintain a database involving the types of injuries suffered by people involved in automobile crashes and their health statuses. The federally required information is added to a nationwide database. Additionally, a $200,000 grant will provide a 3-day training course for child-safety-seat certification and will enable the department to conduct programs throughout the state to teach motorists the proper techniques for installing child safety seats and fastening children in the seats.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the state Traffic Safety Trust Fund.
“Gov. Ivey and ADECA are committed to making our roads safe and taking dangerous drivers off our highways,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.
ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.