MONTGOMERY — They are rivals on the field, no doubt, but the University of Alabama and Auburn University are allies on the highway when it comes to public safety.
Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a total of $3.4 million to help the state’s two universities and the Alabama Department of Public Health team up to promote safety on the state’s roads.
“Sports are a serious subject in Alabama, but nothing is more serious than someone losing their life needlessly because someone did not obey our traffic safety laws,” Gov. Ivey said. “I am grateful for the efforts of these two universities to use their resources to help save lives and prevent injuries on our highways.”
The University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety, which was awarded $1.8 million, along with the Alabama Transportation Institute work together to analyze Alabama traffic data, including crashes, to help police departments and state troopers identify traffic safety trends and conduct enforcement campaigns.
Auburn University, awarded $1.17 million, will use funds to conduct multi-media campaigns during specific traffic safety campaigns like “Click It or Ticket” or “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” The campaigns rely on the UA research to target problem areas.
The Alabama Department of Public Health was awarded $384,820 for education aimed at teaching motorists the proper installation and use of child safety seats. The department uses certified trainers to conduct several on-site education programs around the state. Information is also available through the department’s website. Additionally, the funds will be used for computer software upgrades.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available to the state by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in her appreciation of these two universities and the Alabama Department of Public Health and the work they do in trying to prevent traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities on our highways,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.
Gov. Ivey notified Cynthia Hope, UA director of sponsored programs, John M. Mason, AU vice president for Research and Economic Development and Dr. Scott Harris, state Health Officer, that the grants had been approved.
ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.