SS4A Grant Program
The ECI Regional Planning District was awarded $400,000, for Delaware, Grant, Blackford, and Jay Counties, with 47% of the funds being allocated towards disadvantaged communities, through the Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program. The Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program was instated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in which $5 billion is being used from 2022-2026 to ensure regional, local, and Tribal road conditions are adjusted to protect drivers. From 2017-2021, these counties had a total of 166 traffic crash fatalities. Through this program, the county plans to reach its goal of achieving zero roadway deaths using a safe system approach.
What is a Safe System Approach?
The US Department of Transportation has declared the Safe System Approach as the model to prevent crash fatalities as well as prevent serious harm when accidents do occur. As opposed to previous approaches in the past, the Safe System Approach takes into consideration human error when gauging risks on the road. The Safe System Approach values acknowledging that humans are vulnerable and make mistakes and therefore safety needs to be proactive rather than reactive.
The Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program is designed to address that responsibility is shared and therefore all levels of government, advocacy groups, researchers, and the general public need to commit to preventing roadway deaths and injury. Another key principle in this program is addressing all parts of the transportation system so that if one part fails, there will be precautions in place to address the fallout. The US DOT believes that all roadway deaths and serious injuries are unacceptable and therefore is working to address safer drivers, roads, vehicles, speeds, and post-crash care to achieve zero roadway deaths in the coming years. Part of the funding awarded to the ECI Regional Planning District will go toward developing an Action Plan. Stay tuned for more updates to come on this developing project!