30 Agencies, Organizations Awarded Grants for Efforts to Make Roadways Safer for Vulnerable Users
The Hogan Administration announced distribution of nearly $1 million in state highway safety grants to 30 organizations and law enforcement agencies for initiatives focusing on pedestrian and bicycle safety. The funds will be dispersed by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office as part of the state’s focus to prevent motor vehicle crashes and ultimately eliminate roadway fatalities.
“As we continue our commitment to improving infrastructure and mobility across the state, it is imperative that we also promote safety on our roadways for all users,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These grants will provide organizations and law enforcement agencies with the resources and funding they need to protect our most vulnerable travelers.”
“MDOT is committed to providing Marylanders with a safe, reliable and accessible roadway network for all users, whether they travel by car, bus, rail, bicycle or on foot,” MDOT Secretary Gregory Slater said. “Any injury or death is unacceptable, and these grants will continue our work with communities and law enforcement partners to protect residents, commuters and visitors across the state.”
In 2020, 573 people were killed on Maryland roadways, including 138 pedestrians and 15 bicyclists, a significant increase compared to 2019 when the state had 535 fatalities including 125 pedestrian and 10 bicyclists. The increase of fatalities occurred despite average vehicle traffic volumes in Maryland dropping more than 50% in April 2020 compared to 2019. Traffic volumes have since increased, and are currently about 6% below pre-pandemic levels. While the number of overall crashes and serious injuries decreased in 2020, crashes were more severe, contributing to the rise in roadway fatalities. Initial police reports show increased speed, increased instances of impairment and lower seat belt use as the most common contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities.
“We each have the responsibility to share the road so we can all get to our destination safely,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “By buckling your seat belt every time you are in a vehicle, putting your phone down, following the speed limit, driving sober and looking twice for pedestrians, you could save a life.”
In 2019, Vision Zero was enacted following passage of legislation setting an overall goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries on Maryland’s roadways by 2030. This goal will guide partners as they implement safety programs with the distributed funds. Vision Zero also serves as a blueprint in development of Maryland’s 2021-2025 Strategic Highway Safety Plan, a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on roadways across the state focused on the Four Es – education, engineering, enforcement and emergency medical services.
Funds awarded in the highway safety grants can only be used for traffic safety initiatives and are allocated based on crash data for each county and/or organization applications. The funding is for Fiscal Year 2022, which runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. Projects being funded by the grants include:
Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC)
The LOOK ALIVE campaign featuring the character, “Signal Woman,” aims to provide educational outreach for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers to raise awareness of the rules that protect the most vulnerable road users. The LOOK ALIVE campaign was created specifically for the Baltimore region with the help of a steering committee that included key safety stakeholders and focus groups that helped craft a message/campaign that would resonate with both city and county audiences.
Children’s Village of Washington County
Children’s Village of Washington County will provide free bike, pedestrian and traffic safety education through skills-building exercises to more than 2,500 students per week. Classes consist of take-home informational material, presentations and checklists to review with parents. The grant will support the restriping of the instructional roadway course.
MDOT MVA Maryland Highway Safety Office
As part of the new overarching highway safety campaign, Be the Driver, the subtheme Be the SHARE THE ROAD Driver reminds all road users that no matter how you travel, look out for one another so we can all get home safely. In addition to Be the Driver, the MDOT MVA Maryland Highway Safety Office, in partnership with Maryland State Police, Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, Maryland Transportation Authority and Maryland Transportation Authority Police, developed “What To Do During A Roadside Emergency,” providing information about safe practices motorists should use if they must stop on the side of the road.
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
This grant funds MICA’s Made You Look pedestrian safety program. Phase IV of this project includes three primary goals to build upon, expand, sustain and evaluate the project. First, the Made You Look Toolkit contents and process will be more widely available to diverse audiences. Second, the program will collaborate with community organizations to serve as long-term “homes” for implementing and sustaining the Made You Look Toolkit, reflective streetwear and The Baltimore Underline – an exploration of how lights can enhance the feeling of safety for vulnerable road users. Third, organizers will collect and synthesize qualitative and quantitative data and community/user feedback to document the effectiveness and impact of each component and collective impact of the Made You Look initiative.
Maryland Institute for EMS Systems
This project seeks to reduce significant head injury and death in Maryland due to bicycle crashes through coordination of educational materials; frequent social media communications; development of new partnerships and maintenance of existing ones; and distribution of bike helmets through Safe Kids partnerships in Maryland. Bicycle safety education and helmet distribution will be provided to high-risk areas of the state to support existing local experts.
Below is a breakdown of the highway safety grant amounts:
Agency Grant Amount
Anne Arundel County Police Department $9,960.00
Baltimore City Department of Transportation $30,000.00
Baltimore City Police Department $3,000.00
Baltimore County Police Department $37,084.00
Baltimore Metropolitan Council $141,970.20
Bel Air Police Department $2,000.00
Bowie Police Department $2,000.00
Calvert County Sheriff’s Office $3,000.00
Carroll County Sheriff’s Office $2,500.00
Cecil County Sheriff’s Office $3,500.00
Charles County Sheriff’s Office $10,000.00
Children’s Village of Washington County $4,000.00
City of Hyattsville Police Department $1,500.00
Greenbelt Police Department $2,000.00
Hagerstown Police Department $500.00
Havre de Grace Police Department $2,000.00
Laurel Police Department $1,000.00
Maryland Capitol Police $999.90
Maryland Highway Safety Office $405,000.00
Maryland Institute College of Art $166,095.60
Maryland Institute for EMS Systems $29,116.40
Maryland State Police – Statewide $13,000.00
Ocean City Police Department $14,916.00
Perryville Police Department $1,406.79
Prince George’s County – Department of Public Works and Transportation $10,059.30
Prince George’s County Police Department $20,000.00
Princess Anne Police Department $2,979.90
Riverdale Park Police Department $1,000.00
Town of La Plata Police Department $1,000.00
University of Maryland Department of Public Safety $2,000.00
Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.