ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has been awarded $2,495,831 to help keep Georgians safe while they are riding as a passenger or driving on Georgia roads.
The grant funding is provided to DPH from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and administered through GOHS.
In 2021 in Georgia, 1,797 individuals died in motor vehicle accidents. That is an eight percent increase over 2020 and the largest number of traffic fatalities in the state in the past decade.
Data from Georgia Traffic Safety Facts show that nearly half (47 percent) of those who died in 2021 were not wearing seatbelts or secured in child restraints; and the number of drivers 65+ who were involved in fatal crashes increased by 14 percent in 2021.=
“There is work to be done and the funding DPH receives from GOHS is critical to saving the lives of Georgians and preventing injury,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “These grant dollars provide safety equipment, education, and contribute to a safer roadway system for Georgians and everyone who travels through the state.”
The funding from GOHS is shared among five programs that are essential to preventing injury on the roads:
• $1,683,500 to DPH’s Injury Prevention Program and Child Occupant Safety Project (COSP) which promotes safe transportation of children throughout Georgia. COSP provides child safety seats and education for local caregivers through the car seat mini grant program active in more than 140 counties.
• $209,954 to DPH’s Office of Health Indicators for Planning (OHIP) which processes death, population, hospital discharge and emergency room (ER) visit data. Data are published on OASIS, a web-based query system accessible by the public.
• $314,591 to the Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES), a multi-agency project working to identify opportunities for crash prevention by linking and analyzing crash, vehicle, and behavioral characteristics to medical and financial data. Based on that data, CODES also produces Georgia Traffic Safety Facts and Georgia Traffic Safety Quick Facts.
• $208,874 to DPH’s Injury Prevention Program and the 55+ Driver Safety Program. This program is a resource for drivers over the age of 55 to help maintain their mobility, their mental and physical acuity, and their lifestyle as they age. The program includes Yellow Dot, CarFit, and an annual symposium on safe driving and aging.
• $232,646 to support Georgia Emergency Medical Services Information System (GEMSIS) upgrades and linkages, as well as tools to measure the time to definitive care, especially for trauma patients. The GEMSIS database is the only statewide source for pre-hospital care information.
“The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and our partners continue to implement programs designed to save lives and promote safe driving behaviors,” Allen Poole, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) said. “We ask everyone to help our state and nation reach the attainable goal of zero traffic deaths by driving safe speeds, always wearing a seat belt, keeping the focus on the road and not the phone, and never operating a vehicle under the influence of any substance that impairs your ability to drive.”
For more information about injury prevention log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/health-topics/injury-prevention-program or https://www.gahighwaysafety.org/.