RALEIGH, N.C. (WAVY) — The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program is awarding 108 grants to fund state and local transportation safety initiatives.

Most of the grants will go toward initiatives that address impaired driving, bicycle and pedestrian safety and traffic safety improvements. The community-based grants total more than $23 million.

“Everyone has a right to travel safely on North Carolina’s roads,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program, part of the N.C. Department of Transportation. “These grants will help communities throughout the state ensure safe transportation for all of our citizens.”

According to NCDOT, 20 grants will be awarded to police departments, sheriff’s offices, nonprofit organizations and research centers for new initiatives.

These grants are intended to do the following:

  • Promote young driver safety by creating ‘Time to Drive,’ an online training program that gives parents evidence-based tools to improve the supervision and management of new teen drivers.
  • Protect first responders through a grant to the NC Towing & Recovery Professionals to increase public awareness of the Move Over Law, which protects state troopers, law enforcement officers, emergency and utility workers stopped along the side of highways.  State law requires drivers to slow down or move to another lane when approaching a parked emergency vehicle on the shoulder.
  • Creating drivers’ education resources in underserved communities by funding the Street Safe Lifesaving Driving Experience to use bilingual instructors and materials to reach the underserved Hispanic community in New Hanover County.
  • Expand law enforcement resources in communities most impacted by traffic crashes. Over half of GHSP’s grants will go to state and local law enforcement agencies to help them catch unsafe drivers and educate their communities about road safety.

A full list of the year’s grants can be found here.