U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced nearly $5 million in federal funding to reduce drunk driving and make important safety improvements to New Jersey highways. The funding, through four grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), will help the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety curb drunk driving, prevent distracted driving, ensure children are traveling safely, and improve its data traffic flow monitoring systems.
"More than 30,000 people die on our nation's highways every year and more than a third of these fatalities are from drunk and distracted driving. This critical federal funding will help ensure that our highways are safe for families, commuters, and tourists," said Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the Department of Transportation. "Traffic deaths on our highways are a tragedy, and we will continue to fight for funding that will keep New Jerseyans safe."
"This critical funding will help prevent tragedies on our roads," said Menendez. "By investing in proven programs that save lives, New Jersey law enforcement will have more tools to crack down on drunk drivers, and help keep children and teens safe on our highways."
The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety will receive four grants as follows:
$2,960,086 to fight drunk driving across the state.
$1,260,349 for highway safety efforts, including programs to reduce drunk driving and distracted driving, as well as initiatives to increase seatbelt use and improve pedestrian safety.
$486,751 to improve traffic flow monitoring systems.
$266,580 to enforce child seatbelt laws.
Senator Lautenberg has fought to reduce underage drinking and drunk driving throughout his tenure in Congress. Senator Lautenberg wrote the law that lowered the legal blood alcohol limit to .08 in all 50 states. He also authored the law that established a national legal drinking age of 21, which has helped save thousands of lives across the country.