Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) MAP-21 Interim Eligibility Guidance
September 24, 2012, FHWA Office of Safety
October 1, 2012
On July 6, 2012, the President signed into law P.L. 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). MAP-21 includes specific provisions related to the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) under section 1112 of MAP-21. The HSIP is a core Federal-aid program with the purpose of achieving a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads, including non-State-owned public roads and roads on tribal lands. (23 U.S.C. 148(b))
As described in 23 U.S.C. 148(c)(1), to obligate HSIP funds, a State must have in effect a State HSIP under which the State:
- Develops, implements and updates a strategic highway safety plan (SHSP) that identifies and analyzes highway safety problems and opportunities;
- Produces a program of projects or strategies to reduce identified safety problems; and
- Evaluates the SHSP on a regularly recurring basis.
This guidance clarifies HSIP eligibility requirements under MAP-21 for highway safety improvement projects. The term "highway safety improvement project," as defined in 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(4) means strategies, activities, and projects on a public road that are consistent with a SHSP and
- Correct or improve a hazardous road location or feature; or
- Address a highway safety problem.
The effective date of this MAP-21 HSIP eligibility guidance is October 1, 2012. The HSIP requirements in effect on October 1, 2012 will apply to all related funding obligated on or after that date, whether carryover or new.
Except as discussed later in this guidance, highway safety improvement projects are consistent with the State's SHSP, and are identified on the basis of crash experience, crash potential, crash rate, or other data-supported means. (23 USC 148 (c)(2)(B)). Additionally, States will be required to establish performance targets in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 150(d), which will be the subject of future rulemaking and guidance. (23 USC 148(i), MAP-21 § 1203). States should select projects that support their safety performance targets with the ultimate goal to achieve a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. If the Secretary determines a State does not meet or make significant progress toward meeting the performance targets within 2 years of their establishment, 23 U.S.C. 148(i) will be applied as described below. Further information regarding how the Secretary will determine whether a State has made significant progress toward meeting targets will be the subject of future rulemaking and guidance. Each step of the eligibility decision-making framework is described in more detail below. General HSIP eligibility considerations, including special circumstances that may require additional consideration and general Federal-aid requirements, are also explained.
Consistency with SHSP
Highway safety improvement projects are defined as being consistent with a State's SHSP. (23 USC 148(a)(4)(A)). The projects should logically flow from identified SHSP emphasis areas and strategies. The SHSP emphasis areas should guide HSIP problem identification, and SHSP strategies should influence countermeasure identification and HSIP project selection.
Highway safety improvement projects must be identified on the basis of crash experience, crash potential, crash rate, or other data-supported means. (23 USC 148(c)(2)(B)). The general framework for the identification and analysis of highway safety problems and counter-measure opportunities is defined in 23 U.S.C. 148(c)(2). This framework is consistent with general roadway safety management practices in that States should:
- Identify safety problems either through a site analysis or systemic approach;
- Identify countermeasures to address those problems;
- Prioritize projects for implementation; and
- Evaluate projects to determine their effectiveness.
Figure 1 below illustrates the data-driven process that is the foundation of the HSIP, as well as the relationship between the SHSP and the HSIP.
Figure 1 Relationship between SHSP and HSIP
The data-driven framework allows States to administer the HSIP to address their specific safety needs. Each State is responsible for developing procedures to administer the HSIP in accordance with the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 148 and 23 CFR Part 924. These procedures should be developed in consultation with the FHWA Division Offices.
Funds apportioned to a State to carry out the HSIP should be obligated for highway safety improvement projects that support progress toward the achievement of the national safety performance goal and State safety performance targets for the measures described in 23 U.S.C. 150 (amended by MAP-21 § 1203), as noted below.
Performance goal (23 U.S.C. 150(b)(1)):
To achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.
Performance measures (23 U.S.C. 150(c)(4)):
The Secretary will establish performance measures for States to assess:
- serious injuries and fatalities per vehicle mile traveled; and
- the number of serious injuries and fatalities.
Performance targets (23 U.S.C. 150(d)(1))
Not later than 1 year after the Secretary promulgates a rulemaking establishing the safety performance measures, States are required to set performance targets reflecting the measures.
As described in 23 U.S.C. 148(i), if the Secretary determines a State has not met or made significant progress toward achieving its safety performance targets by the date that is 2 years after the establishment of its targets, the State would:
- dedicate its obligation authority equal to the apportionment for HSIP to the State for the prior year to highway safety improvement projects until the Secretary determines that the State has made significant progress or met the targets; and
- annually submit to DOT a safety implementation plan until the Secretary determines that the State has made significant progress or met the targets.
General HSIP Eligibility
A non-exclusive list of examples of highway safety improvement projects is included in 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(4). Eligibility of specific projects, strategies and activities generally are based on:
- consistency with a State's SHSP;
- crash experience, crash potential, crash rate, or other data-supported means;
- compliance with title 23 requirements; and
- State's strategic or performance based safety goals to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.
However, there are several types of highway safety improvement projects that may warrant additional consideration, such as:
As specified in section 1533 of MAP-21, HSIP funds may not be used for any program to purchase, operate, or maintain an automated traffic enforcement system in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, unless such systems are used to improve safety in school zones. Automated traffic enforcement systems may be eligible for other Federal-aid funding.
A highway safety improvement project means strategies, activities, and infrastructure projects on a public road that are consistent with a State strategic highway safety plan and (i) correct or improve a hazardous location or feature; or (ii) address a highway safety problem. (23 U.S.C. 148(a)(4)). As such, traditional infrastructure-related improvements, as well as non-infrastructure projects, are eligible for HSIP funds.
Similar to infrastructure-related projects, non-infrastructure projects are consistent with a State's SHSP, are based on crash experience, crash potential, crash rate, or other data-supported means, and support a State's safety performance targets. (23 U.S.C. 148(c)(2)(B)). HSIP funding should support implementation of proven, effective activities. Implementation support should either add to existing successful non-infrastructure programs (but not replace existing funding sources), or be used for new, proven activities. In addition, the cost effectiveness of both infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects should be considered during the project selection and prioritization process. All highway safety improvement projects, including non-infrastructure projects, should contribute to a reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads and the achievement of State safety targets.
Non-infrastructure projects must meet all Title 23 requirements. This includes the requirement that the projects must be identified in the Statewide and Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (STIP/TIP) and be consistent with the Statewide Long Range Transportation Plan and the Metropolitan Transportation Plan(s).
Projects to maintain minimum levels of retroreflectivity:
Highway safety improvement projects should correct or improve a hazardous road location or feature; or address a highway safety problem. Under 23 U.S.C. 148(e)(1)(c), HSIP funds may be obligated for any project to maintain minimum levels of retroreflectivity of traffic signs and pavement markings, without regard to whether that project is included in an applicable State SHSP. Under 23 U.S.C.148 (a)(6), the term "project to maintain minimum levels of retroreflectivity" means a project designed to maintain a highway sign or pavement marking at or above the minimum levels prescribed in Federal regulation (i.e. Section 2.A.08 of the 2009 edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) pursuant to 23 CFR Part 655).
As noted in 23 U.S.C. 148(e)(2), other Federal-aid funds are eligible to support and leverage the safety program. Improvements to safety features, including traffic signs and pavement markings, that are routinely provided as part of a broader Federal-aid project could be funded from the same source as the broader project as long as the use is eligible under that funding source. FHWA encourages the use of other Federal-aid funds for system wide replacement projects, where eligible.
General Federal-aid Requirements
The Federal share for highway safety improvement projects is 90 percent, except as provided in 23 U.S.C. 120(c) and 130. (23 U.S.C. 148(j)). Highway safety improvement projects are subject to the same general Federal-aid eligibility provisions contained in title 23 and other applicable laws, similar to the projects funded under other Federal-aid programs. Divisions and States should review these provisions to ensure their proper application to highway safety improvement projects. Additional information on general Federal-aid eligibility provisions is available in the Federal-aid Highway Program Policy Guidance Center at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pgc/.