July 25, 2013

Manchin, Rockefeller Announce Significant Highway Safety Investment in WV

WASHINGTON D.C. --- Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller today announced nearly $660,000 in federal grant funding for the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Office, to carry out important highway safety and distracted driving prevention initiatives in the state.

“Driver education and training, and basic safety precautions like using seatbelts, give West Virginians vital tools to protect their own lives and their loved ones. So often those simple acts we take for granted are all it takes to prevent a devastating motor vehicle accident,” said Rockefeller. “That’s why it has been my priority as Chairman of the Commerce Committee to make sure we take every possible step to make our roads safer. If we can prevent even one loss of life or injury through this investment we are moving in the right direction.”

“Investing in infrastructure projects across our state and our nation is simply common sense,” said Manchin. “When we make sure our roads and highways are safe, we are not only protecting our drivers, but we are also laying the foundation for economic growth. I am pleased that these funds will help prevent traffic accidents and keep West Virginians and visitors safe.”

The $659,084 comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the National Priority Safety Program. This formula grant program gives states funding to improve driver behavior and performance, and to reduce deaths and injuries from motor vehicle-related crashes. The program supports seat belt and child restraint inspection; traffic record improvements; and distracted driving prevention, including efforts to stop texting while driving.

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Rockefeller played an integral role in developing the reauthorization legislation for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It was included in the surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which was signed into law during the summer of 2012. MAP-21 strengthens these important state highway safety programs and provides nearly $500 million annually for West Virginia. Rockefeller has also held numerous Committee hearings regarding highway and vehicle safety, and been a strong supporter of legislation to improve motor vehicle safety, and efforts to reduce deaths and injuries on the road.