Gov. Kay Ivey wants to see Alabamians become safer drivers. That’s why she’s awarded a $2.8 million grant to the University of Alabama and Auburn University, who are putting their gridiron rivalries aside to team up to help Alabamians become safer drivers.
The two universities, along with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), are gathering traffic safety data and converting it into messages to encourage Alabama drivers to use seat belts and child restraint seats, do not drink and drive or drive while distracted and obey traffic safety laws.
“Regardless of your allegiance, when two of our larger universities work collaboratively to save lives and prevent injuries on our highways, our entire state wins,” Ivey said. “I am very grateful for the efforts of these universities along with the Department of Public Health to bring greater awareness to traffic safety. My administration remains committed to keeping drivers safe on our roadways, and I am proud to offer my support to this project.”
The University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety provides data to determine where crashes are occurring and the causes. The information, much of it collected by ADPH, also examines factors such as seat belt use, distracted driving and sobriety. Law enforcement agencies use that information to increase patrols and monitor traffic in high-crash zones.
Auburn University’s Media Production Group produces outreach and awareness campaigns geared toward safe driving. Many of those promotions are tied to national highway safety campaigns like “Click it or Ticket” seatbelt enforcement or “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impairment crackdown and are conducted around major holidays, like Labor Day, when more people are likely to be travelling.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grants from funds made available to the state by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“These efforts along with increased law enforcement presence send a clear signal that dangerous drivers are not tolerated on Alabama’s roads,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell. “ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey in supporting the efforts of these institutions to increase highway safety.”
Gov. Ivey notified Cynthia Hope, UA director of sponsored programs, John M. Mason, AU vice president for Research and Economic Development and Dr. Scott Harris, state Health Officer, that the grants had been approved.