(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that the Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO) has awarded over $23 million for statewide programming to improve traffic safety and reduce traffic-related fatalities.
164 grants were awarded to 135 local agencies (62 counties) to support the efforts of safety partners statewide and focus on traffic safety priority areas, including impaired driving, seat belt usage, distracted driving, youthful driving, and motorcycle safety.
Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office will receive 39,000 dollars of that funding and Pickaway County Public Health will receive around 38,0000 dollars
“These grants align with Ohio’s mission to save lives and reduce injuries on our roads,” said Governor DeWine. “By supporting local programs that raise awareness, educate drivers, and increase enforcement, we are working together to make Ohio’s roadways among the safest in the country.”
Programs that will be funded with traffic safety grants include:
- Statewide Programming ($13,244,880.07) – 31 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 ($4,633,625.20) – 78 grants were awarded to 48 sheriff’s offices and 30 police departments for overtime hours used to reduce traffic-related fatal crashes that involve impaired driving via alcohol or drugs, seat belt usage, speed, aggressive driving, motorcycles, and failure to yield.
- Dedicated Traffic Enforcement Program – ($148,902.91) – 2 grants were awarded to one Sheriff’s Office and one Police Department for a pilot program to help fund a dedicated traffic enforcement officer to reduce traffic-related fatal crashes that involve impaired driving via alcohol or drugs, seat belt usage, speed, aggressive driving, motorcycles and failure to yield. This pilot is intended to help fund the salary and limited other items of the dedicated officer in a step-down manner (100% first year, 50% second year, 25% third year) as the agency absorbs the cost.
- Countywide OVI Task Forces ($2,881,055.45) – 12 grants were awarded to agencies to conduct countywide high visibility enforcement, public awareness, and impaired driving initiatives.
- Safe Community programs ($2,170,213.39) – 41 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 traffic safety grant funds were directed to OTSO from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The FFY 2024 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.
“Last year more than half of Ohio’s fatal crashes were OVI-related, so impaired driving education, prevention, and enforcement campaigns are going to be more important than ever,” said Emily Davidson, OTSO director. “We must continue to keep making progress in saving lives on our roads, and prevent more families from experiencing the tragedy of losing a loved one to an impaired-driving crash.”
For a complete list of agencies receiving grants and the amounts, please visit FFY2024-Award-List.xlsx (live.com)
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 improvement of the 150 most dangerous intersections in the state, and creating the Ohio Traffic Safety Council within the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Most recently, the Governor announced a new grant program to cover many of the costs associated with establishing or expanding driver training schools and funding for scholarships for teenagers from low-income families to enroll in driver training through the “Drive to Succeed” program.