Aside from funding issues with the U.S. Highway Trust Fund, state governments are having a difficult time applying — and receiving — federal grants to make their part of the system safer.
USA Today reports grants for graduated licensing for teens, ignition interlocks for DUI offenders, and distracted driving prevention have gone largely unclaimed. Though several states have laws on the books that would merit the boost, the qualifications necessary for each grant and the two-year time frame for each grant are too much of an obstacle to make the attempt, let alone be rejected by the federal government.
As a result, no states received grants for graduated licensing. New Jersey came close by mandating restrictions until the driver is 18 — which the grant requires — but the rest of the state’s GDL legislation failed to match up with the rest of the grant’s requirements.
Additionally, four states qualified for the ignition interlock grant by meeting the requirement that all first-time offenders must use interlocks for no less than 30 days.
Finally, Connecticut was the only state to win a grant for distracted driving prevention by imposing minimum fines that escalate with every new offense, as well as warn of the issue in driver’s licensing exams.