University of Alabama, Auburn University to partner on making state roadways safer
The University of Alabama, Auburn University and the Alabama Department of Public Health are partnering in a new effort to make Yellowhammer State roadways safer.
Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced that a total of $3.3 million in grants are being awarded to the three entities for the initiative.
It might almost be time for the start of the college football season, but the two athletics rivals are working together to make Alabama a better place off-the-field.
“No matter your allegiance, having these two flagship universities team up with Public Health creates a winning situation for everyone on our roadways,” Ivey said in a statement.
The grants, funded between the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the state Traffic Safety Trust Fund, were administered by the state through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).
“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,” Ivey added.
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, according to the governor’s office.
The University of Alabama’s CAPS, which was awarded approximately $1.9 million of the total grant amount, will continue to develop programs and compile data on crashes, seatbelt use and other statistical information that help the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and other agencies pinpoint “hot spots” where crashes often occur, leading to stepped up patrols and checkpoints in those areas.
Auburn 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.
“Gov. Ivey and ADECA are committed to making our roads safe and taking dangerous drivers off our highways,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell concluded.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn