Montpelier – Peg Buda announced recently that the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s (ODPS) Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO) awarded $35,000 in federal traffic safety funding to Williams County Combined Health Department for the Williams County Safe Communities program for federal fiscal year 2017. “Partnerships are critical to the success of any safety effort and we are committed to working with our local safety partners to address traffic safety concerns in Williams County,” said Peg Buda.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has identified that high risk driving behavior in Williams County, Restraints Not Used/Driver Occupants was the number one cause of fatalities during 2013-2015 and Young Driver Involvement (ages 15-25) was the number one cause of serious injuries. For all age groups, Restraints Not Used/Driver Occupants represents 42 % of all fatalities in Williams County. Many of the crashes that occur each year can be prevented through safer driver behavior with increasing seat belt use, and decreasing speeding and alcohol use. To save lives and improve the quality of life for our citizens Williams County Safe Communities will use the grant funds for traffic safety awareness education for seat belt usage and distracted driving programming in our local schools and community. Williams County Safe Communities will also address impaired driving awareness, motorcycle safety awareness, coalition building and fatal data review.
The grant funds are passed through OTSO from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support the efforts of safety partners statewide and focus on traffic safety priority areas such as restraint use, impaired driving, motorcycle safety and youthful drivers.
Competitive grant proposals are accepted and reviewed by OTSO. The FFY 2017 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).
For more information about OTSO and statewide efforts to improve safety on Ohio’s roadways, log http://ohiohighwaysafetyoffice.ohio.gov/index.stm