State and Community Highway Safety

To provide a coordinated national highway safety program to reduce traffic crashes, deaths, injuries, and property damage.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Selective traffic enforcement programs, both at the State and local level - Funds were used for equipment (police vehicles, communications, speed detection devices, breath testing devices, etc.), training of police personnel, and overtime salaries.

Upgrading of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at the local level: Funds were used for training of emergency medical personnel improved ambulance medical equipment, survey of EMS needs, and salaries for statewide EMS coordinators.

Programs to reduce alcohol-related crashes: Funds were used for studies to identify the magnitude of the problem, personnel services (police, investigators, and court personnel), equipment (breath testing devices, radar equipment), and training of involved personnel to detect the drinking driver and to use testing equipment.

Traffic records system improvement projects: Funds were used for survey of needs and requirements, system designs, system implementation, ADP equipment and supplies, traffic records, personnel, and training.

Occupant Protection programs: Funds were used to develop and distribute public information and education materials relating to the use of safety belts and infant/child safety seats, and the implementation of infant/child safety seat loaner programs.

Networks of public and private agencies and groups were developed and assisted regarding programs to increase awareness of the benefits of occupant protection, and to increase overall use.

Activities that directly support the identification of highway hazards and the scheduling and implementation of roadway improvements (construction, operational or otherwise) to improve their safety: Funds were used for personal services, training and equipment to establish accident data systems; conduct engineering studies and analyses of high accident locations; conduct workshops in street design and capacity and work zone safety; inventory skid resistance of payment surfaces; and provide traffic engineering assistance to local jurisdictions.

Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Office - See Appendix IV of the Catalog for a listing of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regional office addresses.

Program Accomplishments

The federally assisted State and Community Highway Safety programs have contributed to reducing and, subsequently, leveling out the sharp rise in traffic deaths in the period from 1966 to 2006. The fatality rate per hundred million passenger miles has been reduced from 5.5 in 1966 to 1.12 in 2006. This has been achieved in spite of more cars, more drivers, and more miles traveled on our Nation's highways.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Formula grant funds may be used for problems identified within the nine national priority program areas of Alcohol and other Drug Countermeasures, Police Traffic Services, Occupant Protection, Traffic Records, Emergency Medical Services, Motorcycle Safety, Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety, Speed Control and Roadway Safety.

Other program areas identified by a State as constituting a highway safety problem in that State, e.g., pupil transportation safety programs, may be eligible for Federal funding, as encompassing a major highway safety problem in the State and for which effective countermeasures have been identified.

The law provides that at least 40 percent of these Federal funds apportioned to a State for any fiscal year will be expended by the political subdivisions of such State.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

States, federally recognized Indian tribes, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas, and the Virgin Islands.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Political subdivisions, through the State Highway Safety Agencies.


Performance plan approved by the agency is required and Highway Safety plan, certification statement, and Program Cost Summary. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. State Plan due date is September 1 for the formula grant program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

NHTSA Regional Administrators and FHWA Division Administrators review each State's Performance Plan and Highway Safety Plan.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

This program is exempt from the standard application forms required by the Governmentwide Common Grant Rule for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments.

Assistance from NHTSA and FHWA is continuously available to participants in this program.

Application Procedures

Submission of Highway Safety Plan covering State and community highway safety activities for the year to NHTSA regional offices.

Award Procedures

Awards are made by NHTSA Regional Administrators.


Highway Safety Plans must be submitted by September 1 each year.


Highway Safety Act of 1966, as amended, 23 U.S.C. 401 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Two months.


Appeals of decisions by NHTSA Regional Administrators are to the NHTSA Associate Administrator for Regional Operations and Program Delivery.


Each year, States submit Performance Plans and Highway Safety Plans as part of continuing formula grant program.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

75 percent apportioned on total resident population; 25 percent apportioned against public road mileage in States. Federal share shall not exceed 80 percent or applicable sliding scale.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Federal share is reimbursed on claims submitted in vouchers covering costs incurred. All participants have converted to the Electronic Transfer of funds method. Funds placed under obligation are available until expended.

Post Assistance Requirements


States are required to submit annual program reports to the Federal Highway Administration and to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of State and Local Governments and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more within the State's fiscal year shall have an audit made for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 within the State's fiscal year shall have an audit made in accordance with Circular No. A-133, or in accordance with Federal laws and regulations governing the programs in which they participate.


Records relating to the program shall be retained for a period not less than 3 years from the date of submission of final financial report.

Financial Information

Account Identification

69-8020-0-7-401; 69-8019-0-7-401.


(Formula Grants)FY 07 $219,870,000; FY 08 est $225,000,000; and FY 09 est. $235,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$549,000 to $21,000,000. Average: $3,200,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

23 CFR Chapter II, State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program; Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices; Handbook of Highway Safety Design and Operating Practice, available from Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for a listing of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regional office addresses.

Headquarters Office

Marlene Markison, Associate Administrator for Regional Operations and Program Delivery, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-2121. Byron Dover, Transportation Specialist, Safety Technology Division, Office of Highway Safety, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-2161 (use the same number for FTS).

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The Federal/State relationship for the highway safety grant program is a partnership. Each State is given flexibility in the administration of its own highway safety program. Federal funds are obligated in support of a highway safety program based on problems identified by the State. States have latitude in determining projects upon which they spend their Federal monies.

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