March 24, 2003
U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta
Grants of $40.7 Million to Increase Safety Belt Use
Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced that 43 states,
the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will share approximately $40.7
million in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grants for
states that develop innovative projects to increase safety belt use.
"I am pleased to see these funds provided to states to promote safety belt
use," Secretary Mineta said. "Everyone should buckle up for every trip
because safety belts are the best protection available in a crash. Their use
prevents injury and death on our roads and reduces the economic drain caused
by traffic injuries."
According to NHTSA, safety belts are the most effective safety device in
vehicles and would save thousands more lives annually if everyone buckled
up. In 2002, safety belt use in the United States was about 75 percent.
The goal of this grant program is to implement proven methods of increasing
safety belt use across the nation with a major focus on highly visible
enforcement of safety belt laws, coupled with public information and
education campaigns delivering a clear enforcement message.
For the first time ever, NHTSA will devote $8 million of the Section 157
innovation funds to a national broadcast advertising campaign delivering the
message "Click It or Ticket" in support of highly visible enforcement. In
addition, an estimated $16 to $18 million of the state grant funds will be
used by the states to purchase ads in their own media markets.
"We know that enforcement of belt laws that is advertised and highly visible
increases belt use," said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D. "It's
not about tickets, it's about more people staying alive and well."
The grants are authorized by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st
Century (TEA-21). The Act provides $500 million over five years for states
to increase safety belt use and another $700 million over six years for
states to enact and enforce tough laws to prevent alcohol-impaired driving.
The innovative project grants were awarded competitively. All 50 States, the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were eligible to apply. The grant
amounts for fiscal year 2003 range from $277,610 for New Hampshire, Idaho
and the District of Columbia to more than $4.2 million for Texas.
The following states received fiscal year 2003 Section 157 grants to
increase safety belt use in the amounts indicated: Alabama, $1,072,369;
Alaska, $356,928; Arizona, $563,470, Arkansas, $594,879; California,
$3,569,276; Colorado, $793,172; Connecticut, $594,879; Delaware, $356,928;
District of Columbia, $277,610; Florida, $2,538,152; Georgia, $1,189,759;
Hawaii, $289,508; Idaho, $277,610; Illinois, $1,110,441, Indiana, $861,502;
Iowa, $753,514, Kentucky, $1,031,124; Louisiana, $456,074; Maryland,
$680,780, Massachusetts, $662,299, Michigan, $1,764,809, Minnesota,
$951,807; Mississippi, $674,197; Missouri, $778,102; Nebraska, $317,269;
Nevada, $436,245; New Hampshire, $277,610; New Jersey, $1,136,360; New York,
$1,982,931; North Carolina, $713,855; North Dakota, $356,928; Ohio,
$1,098,544; Oklahoma, $555,221; Oregon, $396,586; Pennsylvania, $2,062,248;
Rhode Island, $396,586; South Carolina, $490,909; Tennessee, $567,911;
Texas, $4,203,814; Utah, $370,808; Vermont, $396,586; Virginia, $1,070,783;
Washington, $872,490; West Virginia, $436,245; and Puerto Rico, $336,783.