(The Center Square) – The Maryland State Police have received more than $1.46 million in funding as part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s highway safety grants.

“Highway safety has remained a top priority for the Maryland State Police since its founding in 1921,” Ron Snyder, deputy director of the Office of Media Communications at Maryland State Police, told The Center Square. “These grants will be used to support the department’s mission of serving the people of Maryland and those who visit our state through purposed policing that protects our citizens prevents criminal acts and traffic crashes and provides the highest quality of law enforcement services available anywhere.”

Of the funding, $405,000 will be put towards the State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort, or SPIDRE Team, founded in May 2013.

“The SPIDRE Team focuses on alcohol-related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers,” Snyder said. “The goal is to improve highway safety and help Maryland achieve the goal of zero deaths on our roadways.”

Maryland has set a goal to have zero roadway deaths by 2030, which was part of its 2019 Vision Zero initiative. In 2020 and 2021, there was a combined total of 1,135 roadway deaths, which police reports indicated were caused by speeding, impaired driving, and lack of seatbelt use.

The organization is also set to receive $35,450 for its Mobile Unit, $352,737 for its Drug Recognition Effort program, and another $667,200, which will be used across the state.

“These funds will be used to help with Maryland State Police’s effort to reduce instances of impaired, distracted, and aggressive driving to reduce highway fatalities in the process,” Snyder said.

More than $13 million was granted to more than 90 agencies specializing in the “Four Es” of traffic safety – education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency medical services. Other notable grantees include Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Crash Center for Research and Education, and the Maryland Institute for EMS Systems. The issuing agency that dispersed the federal funds on Oct. 1, and the Maryland Highway Safety Office, received the largest grant of over $5.81 million.

Anna Levendusky, Communications and Media Manager at MHSO, told The Center Square, “MHSO is dedicated to saving lives and preventing injuries by reducing motor vehicle crashes through the administration of a comprehensive network of traffic safety programs.” 

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