Funding Pipeline Open For Highway Safety Projects

The Virginia Highway Safety Office, a branch of the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, recently announced it will be accepting applications for funding to support programs meant to reduce traffic deaths and injuries throughout the state.

Applications will be due by March 15, according to the announcement, and successful applicants will receive cost-reimbursement funding from this October through September 2013. Programs may have goals such as improving seat belt usage, reducing instances of unsafe driver habits such as drunk driving, distracted driving and speeding or encourage safety among motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians and teen or senior drivers.

Success in these areas could improve auto insurance rates in the state. Senior and teen drivers are at particularly high risk compared to other motorists, and speeding, distraction and drunk driving are major contributors to accident frequency.

Programs may be enforcement efforts, research-focused or aimed at public education about safety, allowing a range of efforts, as long as they target the state's safety goals. The agency awards nearly 300 grant requests each year.

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