Jamie Gerken, Defiance County health commissioner, announced Thursday that Defiance County Public Health was awarded $35,000 in federal traffic safety funding.

The funding is being received as a grant through the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO).

According to Defiance County Public Health, impaired driving and lack of safety belt use are impacting the safety and welfare of the citizens of Defiance County. To save lives and improve citizens’ quality of life, Defiance County Public Health will use the grants funds to promote traffic safety initiatives with emphasis on safety belt usage.

Defiance County Public Health will continue to partner with local law enforcement and community agencies utilizing the Defiance County Safe Communities Coalition to carry out these initiatives.

Grant funds are passed through OTSO from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support the efforts of safety partners statewide and focus on traffic safety priority areas such as restraint use, impaired driving, motorcycle safety and youthful drivers.

Competitive grant proposals were accepted and reviewed by OTSO. The FFY 2020 competitive grant process solicited grant proposals from state agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges, universities, hospitals, political subdivisions and other interested groups within selected Ohio counties and jurisdictions (based upon the number of fatal crashes).

For more information about OTSO and statewide efforts to improve safety on Ohio’s roadways, visit http://ohiohighwaysafetyoffice.ohio.gov/index.stm.

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