ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore this week announced more than $11.5 million in federal highway safety grants to organizations across Maryland as part of a statewide focus to prevent motor vehicle crashes and eliminate roadway fatalities. The federal funds will be distributed on Oct. 1 by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office to 85 agencies, organizations, and programs.
The Baltimore County Police Department is set to receive more than $250,000 in grant funds.
“These investments are critical to building and maintaining a safe, reliable and efficient transportation system in Maryland,” said Gov. Moore. “Our administration is committed to partnering with local governments, officials and advocacy groups to reduce roadway injuries and fatalities and to ensure that highway safety remains a top priority across the state.”
Funds awarded this year may be used for traffic safety initiatives and are allocated based on crash data for each county or organization. The federal grants are in addition to the state funded grants announced in July. 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;
- increase the efficiency and capability of Maryland’s traffic data systems.
The grants are the latest actions from the Moore-Miller administration to make roadways safer for drivers and motorists. The administration also launched the Work Zone Safety Work Group, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller, which is focused on improving work zone safety for roadway workers, law enforcement, and motorists.
“Our administration is tackling the task of making our transportation systems safer from all angles,” said Lt. Gov. Miller. “With these investments and the work of the Work Zone Safety Work Group, we’re ensuring roadway users make it to their destinations safely and roadway workers and law enforcement officers make it home to their families.”
In 2022, there were 564 traffic deaths on Maryland roadways, including 137 pedestrians and 11 bicyclists. This year, there have already been 419 traffic deaths, including 96 pedestrians. Police reports continue to show speed, impairment, and inadequate or improper seat belt use as the most common contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities.
“We’re sounding the alarm today. If we continue at this rate, Maryland will surpass 600 traffic fatalities by the end of the year,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “That’s unacceptable to everyone in the administration, and it should be unacceptable for every Marylander. With these grants and other initiatives, we’re working with our local partners to invest in effective and comprehensive measures that can save lives.”
In 2019, Maryland enacted Vision Zero, an initiative setting the goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries on state roadways by 2030. The goal guides partners as they implement safety programs with grant funding. Vision Zero also serves as a guide in development and implementation of Maryland’s 2021-2025 Strategic Highway Safety Plan, a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to reduce fatalities and serious injuries utilizing the “Four Es” of traffic safety—education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency medical services.
The full list of Highway Safety Grant Awardees can be viewed online here.