A new report from the Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General has revealed yet another fiasco in highway funding. No, it's not a misuse of federal funds. Instead, it's a complete and total lack of use for government monies.

In this case, the DOT's inspector general has discovered that over half a billion dollars in highway safety grants have gone unused by the 50 states. These funds were reportedly earmarked for highway safety programs, such as public service announcements and extra highway patrols during busier seasons, according to The Detroit News, rather than actual road and bridge construction.

Still, the lack of use in funds, which were awarded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration between 2006 and 2013, is troubling. After all, as The News points out, highway deaths went up 3.3 percent in 2012, while 5.6 million crashes occurred on American roads.


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  • 18 Comments
      IfIWereObama
      • 3 Months Ago

      This article is very misleading.
      Just like with Dept of Education & schools, there are always strings attached to federal grants and programs.

      There may be extra regulations that the feds want enacted.
      There may be data that they want in exchange.

      Sometimes grants pay for the whole program & sometimes they don't.
      Sometimes they only pay for a certain amount of time & the state is forced to cover costs after funding stops.


      Working at school districts, I've learned that it's not always best to go after every government program that promises money.

        knightrider_6
        • 3 Months Ago
        @IfIWereObama

        Your comment is very misleading.

        Federal government doesn't simply dole out grants. The state and local governments have to apply for them. If they don't want to deal with federal regulations or guidelines, they don't have to apply. Nobody is forcing them.

          tompaq
          • 3 Months Ago
          @knightrider_6

          He didn't say that the federal government just doles out grants. Read the last line of the post. ....."I've learned that it's not always best to go after every government program that promises money."

      Barry Hubris
      • 3 Months Ago

      Shrug.  Why is this troubling?  Government is too focused on small problems, missing bigger issues.  Crumbling infrastructure is a big deal and costs all of us money.  A few people seeing an ad telling them to buckle up = waste of time.  

      MechE
      • 3 Months Ago *Edited*
      If there was money to be spent then the only reason it didnt get spent is because somebody didnt know how to tap into the funding. That, or there was some silly requirements that made the funding useless.   It isn't a case of the states not spending the money because they didnt want to do X amount of work to make things safer.  The way government works is spend spend spend, even if you're simply spending so it doesnt get rolled up and put into another budget. 
      knightrider_6
      • 3 Months Ago
      Meh. This money will be better used for buying military style weapons for local police departments
      carnut0913
      • 3 Months Ago

      So, for a 7 yr stretch, we are talking 1.5MM per yr per state.  not a lot, and the states may have decided it wasn't worth the paperwork to air commercials everyone DVRs through.

      Maybe if it had been for bridgework, siderails, or other construction items that would really improve safety, then the states would have gone for the money.

      OF course that's assuming it came without all the caveats and strings that the 'shovel ready' project funds were for that didn't get used.  Blame federal gov't, not any one person or party.


      Larry Litmanen
      • 3 Months Ago

      There was a story few years ago, Government said you can get money from us if you agree to change all road signs in the state. But states said why should we change all of them when we only need to replace the fraction of the damaged ones. Feds said it is take it or leave it (they wanted all signs replaced to promote additional hiring by the states) but governors concluded that it will cost them them much to replace all signs when they have to hire all these people.


      This is very typical Obama, he has never had a job, he does not know how real world operates.

        Niels Marienlund
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen

        Oh, we get it. It's "Obama's fault."

        Go away, troll. This isn't Yahoo.

          Card13
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Niels Marienlund

          Autoblog's comment system is always having issues. Thanks, Obama 

          carnut0913
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Niels Marienlund

          no kidding, its liberal AOL


          edward.stallings
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Niels Marienlund

          Liberal idiots in general are at fault, and yes he is one in a big way.

        knightrider_6
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen

        All conservative states depend on federal money (donated by liberal states) to survive. Without that money half their population would be unemployed.

        We liberals don't mind. We don't want South Carolina to turn into Somalia.

      Arthur Wilson
      • 3 Months Ago

      Per state over a few years worth of funding this is just a drop in the ocean. You're talking a handful of road studs or some road paint - hardly a new intersection or miles up mile of pothole repair. 

      Maybe they should invest this money into Alabama highway 431 and some of the other notorious killer roads. 

      rcavaretti
      • 3 Months Ago

      Paperwork issues aside, curious which states refused the goods.

      dfkd
      • 3 Months Ago

      Were they at least collecting interest on it...?

      John
      • 3 Months Ago
      The article leaves out the important part - why.  Like other said, the federal government made it practically impossible to get the grants with all their requirements and bureaucracy. 
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