Nearly $1 million in grants will be distributed across 33 organizations and law enforcement agencies tasked with Maryland highway safety, Gov. Wes Moore announced Wednesday.
The money comes as the state is working toward Maryland Vision Zero, a goal of “zero fatalities and serious injuries on the state’s roadways by 2030,” according to a press release. A total of 563 people were killed on Maryland roadways in 2022.
“These highway safety grants are instrumental in building a transportation system that works for all Marylanders,” Moore said in the press release. “We all must make safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians a top priority while empowering communities to work at the grassroots level to improve access and save lives.”
The funds, which will be available for fiscal year 2024, will be allocated to different areas and organizations based on crash data for applicants’ jurisdictions.
Among the projects that will benefit from the grant is the Maryland Institute for EMS Systems, tasked with informing kids about how to reduce head injuries and deaths as a result of bike-related incidents; and the Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, which provides bike helmets and lights to “disadvantaged bike riders.” Anne Arundel County adopted Maryland Vision Zero just under a year ago.
There were 11 bike-related deaths in 2022, 135 pedestrian deaths, and 417 other roadway deaths. The 146 pedestrian and bike-related deaths in 2022 are an increase from the 131 pedestrian and six bike-related deaths in 2021.
According to the press release, the Vision Zero plan aims to reduce the figures by implementing the “Four E’s”: education, engineering, enforcement and emergency medical services.
“The Maryland Department of Transportation is committed to providing residents with a safe, reliable and accessible network for all users, whether they travel by car, bus, rail, bicycle or on foot,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld said in the press release. “These grants reflect the state’s commitment to work closely with our partners in local jurisdictions and law enforcement to achieve that goal.”