ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday awarded $12 million in federal grants to 90 local agencies and organizations to promote highway safety.
Police departments and local governments will use the money to pay for overtime so officers can enforce traffic laws and receive training on highway safety and traffic enforcement.READ MORE: Flash Floods In Maryland Close Some Schools, Roads; Several Rescued In High Water, MSP Responds To More Than 500 Calls
The money will also be spent to improve infrastructure for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, to encourage seat belt use and the correct use of child safety seats, and to discourage reckless or impaired driving.
“With traffic already back to pre-pandemic levels, it is even more important that we continue working to make our streets and roadways safer and more accessible,” Hogan said in a statement. “This critical funding will help us prevent crashes and fatalities all across the state, and ensure highway safety remains a top priority.”READ MORE: CDC Advisory Panel Backs FDA Decision For COVID-19 Booster Shots, Baltimoreans React
Last year, 573 people were killed on roads across the state, including 138 pedestrians and 15 bicyclists–a sharp increase from 2019, Hogan’s office said, even though traffic dipped by as much as 50% during the height of the pandemic.
The overall number of crashes decreased in 2020, but the ones that occurred were more severe and often more fatal, Hogan’s office said.MORE NEWS: 'It's Really Unfortunate': Students In Anne Arundel County React To News Of Postponed Homecoming Dances
The money will be dispersed on Oct. 1 through the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office.