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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater Announces $1 Million for Louisiana to Help Reduce Alcohol-Related Crashes

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater Announces $1 Million for Louisiana to Help Reduce Alcohol-Related Crashes

NHTSA
September 30, 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 47-99
Thursday, September 30, 1999
Contact: NHTSA, Tim Hurd, (202) 366-9550

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater today announced a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation and Louisiana that gives Louisiana $1 million to reduce alcohol-related crashes.

"A strong message and tough state laws have done a lot to bring about a change in the public's attitude toward impaired driving," said Secretary Slater. "Safety is President Clinton's highest transportation priority and these funds will help save lives."

The funds will assist the state in increasing levels of law enforcement with heightened publicity through a 30-month demonstration and evaluation program.

Unlike a grant, a cooperative agreement involves closer participation by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the state during administration of the program. To receive the funding, Louisiana submitted a proposal that met specific requirements for administering the demonstration program.

Louisiana will conduct increased saturation patrols using newly purchased equipment, and increase law enforcement officer training in detecting alcohol impaired drivers. The program evaluation also will provide critical information needed by the law enforcement community on the extent to which saturation patrols can reduce alcohol-related crashes.

"In 1998, a person was killed every 30 minutes in an alcohol-related crash. In Louisiana alone, 426 people died last year," said Ricardo Martinez, M.D., administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Programs like this one in Louisiana will redouble our efforts to reduce the number of these crashes and the tragedies that accompany them."

This 30-month effort in Louisiana hopes to demonstrate that a comprehensive and sustained law enforcement effort combined with publicity directed at getting safety messagesabout this program to the public can result in a substantial drop in alcohol-related crashes.

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