SPRINGFIELD, ILL. --Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich authorized today the release of $31,600 in federal highway safety funds to fund the Sangamon County Regional Office of Education’s local alcohol program.
“Increasing the safety of our state’s roads is a top priority of my administration,” said Governor Blagojevich. “And with these funds, we are going to spread the word to our state’s youth that driving drunk is dangerous, and just isn’t cool.”
The $31,600 grant, administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Division of Traffic Safety, will be used to facilitate the Sangamon County DUI Education Committee. The Committee provides public information and educational prevention activities to youth to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries resulting from traffic crashes involving intoxicated drivers.
“The DUI Education Committee consists of students from school districts within Sangamon County chosen to represent their schools in the ongoing effort to combat alcohol related accident fatalities,” said Helen Tolan, local project director for the Sangamon County Regional Office of Education. “These students are actively involved with other schools, community agencies, community leaders, citizens and other students of informing the community of the dangers of driving drunk.”
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.
U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds the grants. The grants became effective for use on October 1, 2003.