“With traffic already back to pre-pandemic levels, it is even more important that we continue working to make our streets and roadways safer and more accessible,” Gov. Hogan said in a statement. “This critical funding will help us prevent crashes and fatalities all across the state, and ensure highway safety remains a top priority.”
The funds will be dispersed by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office to more than 90 organizations and law enforcement agencies. In July, the Hogan administration announced nearly $1 million in state funds focused on pedestrian and bicyclist safety initiatives.
According to the Governor's office, 573 people were killed in 2020 on Maryland roadways, including 138 pedestrians and 15 bicyclists. This is a significant increase compared to 2019 when the state had 535 fatalities, including 125 pedestrians and 10 bicyclists. The increase in fatalities occurred despite average vehicle traffic volumes in Maryland dropping as much as 50% at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The highway safety funds will be used for initiatives to prevent impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving; increase safety for pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists; support police training for highway safety and traffic enforcement; and increase the efficiency and capability of Maryland’s traffic data systems.
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.
SOURCE: Office of Gov. Larry Hogan