RALEIGH, N.C. — More than $18 million in grants is being awarded to support state and local transportation safety initiatives, the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced.

The grants are made possible through the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program. According to a release, 96 community-based grants will be administered through October 2021 and September 2022.

“Reducing the number of traffic deaths and serious injuries is a top priority, and our agency partners are instrumental in working toward that goal,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

Initiatives receiving grants target a variety of key traffic safety areas, including impaired driving, speeding, occupant protection, pedestrians and cyclists, motorcyclists and teen and senior drivers. NCDOT says local and state law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, courts and state departments are among the grant recipients.

The grants, many of which are used as “seed money” to help get programs started, according to a release, include:

  • $87,560 to fund a new project at Carolinas Medical Center to fund a social worker to serve road-based injured trauma populations – including screening patients and counseling them toward treatment and safe driving interventions
  • $580,460 to the Department of Health and Human Services for Blood Alcohol Testing (BAT) Units stationed regionally that enable local law enforcement agencies to conduct DWI checking stations
  • $300,000 to the N.C. State Highway Patrol to strategically place troopers in the top 25 counties for impaired driving fatalities to support Booze It and Lose It campaigns, particularly during peak nighttime hours and on weekends
  • $64,285 to the Highway Safety Research Center at UNC Chapel Hill for a Senior Driver Safety Coalition to educate seniors and their families about ways to stay safe on the road; and a Teen Driver Resource Center to guide and assist stakeholders in improving teen driver safety in N.C. 
  • $102,392 for Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) to work in five N.C. communities with high teen crash rates to ID causes, implement countermeasures, and build a network of student chapters to provide programming in schools and communities
  • $144,000 for BikeWalkNC to expand the Bike Friendly Driver Program, an interactive training to promote safe interactions between cyclists and drivers

Officials say roughly $1.6 million in grants to North Carolina’s rural counties, including those taking part on the Hometown Strong Initiative, is also included in the funding.

A complete list of grant recipients can be found here​.