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December 24, 2003

Governor releases funds for Champaign traffic safety program
Money targeted for community education and awareness

SPRINGFIELD, ILL.  -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced the release of $62,308 in federal highway safety funds to the Champaign/Urbana Health Department for a Child Passenger Safety Resource Center.  The grant is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Division of Traffic Safety.
The grant, in the amount of $62,308 will continue to fund the operation of this Child Passenger Safety Resource Center. The center, run by the Champaign/Urbana Public Health Department, is designed to increase the usage rates of occupant protection devices for all age populations in the state of Illinois.  Specific education already focuses on child restraint and safety belt awareness and usage. The Resource Center provides assistance to families and caretakers and addresses the challenges of transporting children safely.
“I am committed to keeping the citizens of our state safe on Illinois’ roadways,” said Governor Blagojevich. “With these funds, meaningful education and community outreach programs, such as those operated by Champaign/Urbana Public Health Department can continue to reduce the number of Illinois’ traffic related fatalities.” Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans. In Illinois, during 2002, 1,420 persons were killed in fatal crashes. The total estimated cost of all crashes in Illinois for 2002 was $8.5 billion.
“Protecting all children of Illinois from injury or death is one of the most important aspects of a community’s traffic safety program,” said Tom DiLello, director of IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety. “Keeping our kids safe starts with educating those responsible for transporting our children each and every day.”
The grant, which is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, became effective October 1, 2003.


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