U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) has earned a Roadway Safety Champion Award from the American Traffic Safety Services Association for taking a major step toward lowering the number of fatalities involving older Americans — the most lethal group of drivers after teenagers.

Introduced July 2009, Altmire's Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety and Roadway Enhancement Act of 2009 provides $500 million annually for the U.S. DOT to establish national goals for increasing safety for people 65 and older. A Special Assistant for Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety oversees and coordinates efforts related to funding and collecting/analyzing data, and incorporate recommendations for increasing safety for people 65 and older in the Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians (FH-WA-RD-01-103) and Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

Road departments could use the funding to install signs with clear view fonts, retroreflective sheeting and pavement markings, and left turn lanes. The federal share of such projects is 90%.