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Wilson agencies tab highway safety grants

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Gov. Phil Bredesen today awarded more than $17.8 million in highway safety grants to 245 agencies across Tennessee including two in Wilson County.

Wilson County Sheriff’s Department is to receive a grant of $100,649 to support year two of its “Operation Impact” program, and Watertown Police Department is to receive a grant of $5,000 to support high visibility law enforcement campaigns.

The Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO) mission is to save lives and reduce injuries on Tennessee roadways through leadership, innovation, coordination, and program support in partnership with other public and private organizations. The grants awarded will be used to promote this mission.

"These highway safety grants reflect a continued commitment to work with local and state agencies to make our roadways even safer than they are today," Bredesen said. "The funds made available through these grants will support the efforts of many local and state highway safety partners to reduce the number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes each year."

Grant awards are issued to agencies that successfully applied for funding based on problem and statistical need. The GHSO notified agencies across the state that applications were being accepted for highway safety grants. Applications were reviewed and scored by the GHSO and external highway safety advocates. The agencies that met the criteria for funding received awards.

"I am proud that we are able to help fund important programs at the state and local level that help reduce the number of traffic crashes on Tennessee roadways," said Commissioner Gerald Nicely, Tennessee Department of Transportation. "These grants will make a difference in the effectiveness of our highway safety partners."

There are several elements that contribute to a sound and safe roadway system. Some of those aspects are an accurate traffic safety data collection and analysis system; well-trained and equipped law enforcement personnel; and effective emergency medical and trauma systems. A major part of roadway safety is educating motorists about laws and good driving behaviors.

"Grants awarded by the GHSO are provided in areas of need," added GHSO Director Kendell Poole. "Statistics show our problem areas and we strive to put the funding where it will be most effective. We are dedicated to saving lives across Tennessee and pledge to work with grantees statewide to accomplish our mission."

State Reps. Stratton Bone and Susan Lynn and State Sen. Mae Beavers worked to secure these funds for the Sheriff’s Department and WPD.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the funding for GHSO grants.

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