The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded almost $350,000 to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety to implement and enforce seatbelt and child seat safety programs. U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) say the funding will be distributed to programs designed to reduce highway deaths and injuries from riding unrestrained or improperly restrained in motor vehicles.

Lautenberg says, “Seatbelts save thousands of lives every year and cut in half the risk of serious injury during an accident. We must continue efforts to ensure people are buckled up and their kids are in car seats while traveling on New Jersey's roadways. This federal grant helps advance proven programs that keep families safe on the road and prevent tragic accidents.”

Last month, the Senate approved the surface transportation reauthorization bill. The measure includes more than $40 million per year for grants to encourage seatbelt usage. So far, the House of Representatives has not taken action on the Senate's bill which is designed to increase safety, rebuild America's roads and bridges, modernize transit systems, and create or save millions of jobs. 

“Nothing is more devastating than the loss of a loved one, especially when that loss could have been prevented,” says Menendez. “Seatbelts and child car seats are a commonsense and no-excuse tool for protecting ourselves and our families. With this money the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety will be able to enforce seatbelt safety programs more forcefully, making our roads less dangerous. Everyone should be buckling up, period.”