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U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Grants of $25 Million to Increase Seat Belt Use

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Grants of $25 Million to Increase Seat Belt Use

February 25, 2000

NHTSA 06-00
Friday, February 25, 2000
Contact: NHTSA, Tim Hurd, (202) 366-9550

U. S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced that 44 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will share approximately $25 million in grants for states that develop innovative projects designed to increase seat belt use.

"Providing funds to help save lives and prevent injuries is one of the most important actions the federal government can take," Vice President Gore said. "Innovative projects made possible by these grants will do just that - more motorists will buckle up when they learn how seat belts can help prevent injuries in car crashes."

"The grants underscore the department's commitment to safety, President Clinton's and Vice President Gore's highest transportation priority," Secretary Slater said. "Many Americans do not realize that automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for youth of all ages. Further, nearly 57 percent of those killed in vehicle crashes, both children and adults, are unbelted. Seat belts are the most effective safety device in vehicles and would save thousands more lives if everyone buckled up."

Information collected from the 1998 National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) showed that restraint use has increased from 62 percent in 1996 to 70 percent in 1998. NHTSA statistics show that in 1998 seat belts saved an estimated 11,088 lives.

"The goal of this program is to find creative new approaches to increase seat belt use across the nation," said Rosalyn G. Millman, Acting Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). "We have succeeded with our current programs, but we are always looking to reach as many people as possible with our life-saving message."

The grants are authorized by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which President Clinton signed into law on June 9, 1998. The Act provides for more than $1.2 billion in incentive grants to increase seat belt use and prevent alcohol-impaired driving - $500 million over five years for states to increase seat belt use and another $700 million over six years for states to enact and enforce tough laws to prevent alcohol-impaired driving.

In November under the same Act, the Secretary awarded $54.6 million in grants to states whose seat belt use rate exceeded the national average or their own highest previous seat belt use rate.

"These funds, together with the awards announced today, provide essential resources to increase seat belt use in every community," said Millman.

The innovative project grants were awarded competitively. All 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were eligible to apply. The grant amounts range from $120,000 to $1.6 million for fiscal year 2000.

The following table lists the states receiving grants and their grant amounts.

FY 2000 Grants for States to Develop Innovative Projects
To Increase Seat Belt Use

State Award
Alabama $ 810,405
Alaska $ 495,400
Arizona $ 490,900
Arkansas $ 237,000
Colorado $ 727,000
Connecticut $ 425,000
Delaware $ 121,500
DC $ 264,630
Florida $1,353,000
Georgia $1,000,000
Hawaii $ 228,418
Idaho $ 500,000
Illinois $ 546,640
Indiana $ 669,800
Iowa $ 230,000
Kansas $ 200,000
Kentucky $ 569,300
Louisiana $ 735,000
Maine $ 354,200
Massachusetts $ 346,000
Michigan $1,042,277
Minnesota $ 365,200
Mississippi $ 499,432
Missouri $ 535,450
Montana $ 204,000
Nebraska $ 436,680
Nevada $ 290,675
New Hampshire $ 153,134
New Jersey $ 685,620
New Mexico $ 316,000
New York $1,215,729
North Carolina $ 800,000
North Dakota $ 450,298
Oregon $ 349,764
Pennsylvania $ 376,461
Puerto Rico $ 283,300
Rhode Island $ 448,000
South Carolina $ 910,109
Tennessee $ 914,500
Texas $1,607,608
Utah $ 379,613
Vermont $ 518,400
Virginia $ 820,000
Washington $ 500,000
West Virginia $ 229,500
Wisconsin $ 884,984
Total $25,520,927

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