PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Transportation is one of seven states to receive an incentive grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to combat distracted driving, the department announced Thursday.
The $459,000 is part of the NHTSA National Priority Safety Program.
RIDOT will use the funding to develop a comprehensive distracted driving prevention program, set to launch in October. The program will include education, community outreach and increased funding for enforcement efforts, according to a release.
“Rhode Island continues to lead the way in proactively addressing highway safety programs,” Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee said in a statement. “Through the receipt of this grant, we can step up our ongoing efforts to ensure highway safety and ensure that drivers stay focused while driving.”
The state banned texting while driving in 2009. This year the state passed a law requiring texting-while-driving tickets to be heard before a judge.
It is also illegal for minors to use electronic devices while driving in Rhode Island, except for calling emergency services.