New federal funds mean the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office can conduct more traffic safety enforcement patrols.

The department has announced it has been awarded a federal fiscal year 2024 Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant to hold more traffic safety enforcement efforts. The STEP program focuses on high-visibility enforcement and strategies designed to save lives and prevent injuries by reducing traffic crashes.

The STEP grant is funded by federal highway safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“We’re pleased to receive this grant to step up our road safety efforts with the goal of saving lives,” said Sheriff Darren Hart. “Our mission is to make travel safer through directed, proactive patrols and to stop, cite and arrest those who choose to violate traffic laws.”

The STEP grant year runs from October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024. During this time, the sheriff’s office will conduct additional enforcement efforts, in addition to mandatory and optional campaign enforcement dates that are scheduled during some of the deadliest times of the year.

These additional efforts will focus on the leading causes of crashes: speeding, impaired driving, electronic device use, failure to yield, disobeying traffic control signals and occupant restraint violations.