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Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act or "FAST Act"

Highway Safety Improvement Program

Fiscal year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Estimated funding* $2.226 B $2.275 B $2.318 B $2.360 B $2.407 B

*Calculated (sum of estimated individual State HSIP apportionments)

Program purpose

The FAST Act continues the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads, including non-State-owned public roads and roads on tribal lands. The HSIP requires a data-driven, strategic approach to improving highway safety on all public roads that focuses on performance. 

Statutory citation

FAST Act § 1113; 23 U.S.C. 148

Funding features

Type of budget authority

Contract authority from the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund, subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation.

Pre-apportionment set-asides

The FAST Act continues to require FHWA to set aside, prior to apportionment, HSIP funding for the Railway-Highway Crossings program, and increases the amount of this set-aside. (See “Railway-Highway Crossings Program” fact sheet for additional information on this program)

The FAST Act newly authorizes an annual set-aside (prior to apportionment) of $3.5 million in HSIP funds to carry out specified safety-related activities and operate specified safety-related clearinghouses. [FAST Act § 1417-1418; MAP-21 § 1519(a); SAFETEA-LU § 1409]

Apportionment of funds

As under MAP-21, the FAST Act directs FHWA to apportion funding as a lump sum for each State then divide that total among apportioned programs. Within this process, a State’s HSIP apportionment is calculated based on a percentage specified in law. (See “Apportionment” fact sheet for a description of this calculation)

Post-apportionment set-asides

After apportionment, 2% of the State’s HSIP apportionment is set aside for State Planning and Research (SPR). [23 U.S.C. 505]

Transferability to other Federal-aid apportioned programs

A State may transfer to the National Highway Performance Program, National Highway Freight Program, Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, Transportation Alternatives, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program up to 50% of HSIP funds made available each fiscal year. [23 U.S.C. 126]

Federal share

Except as provided in 23 U.S.C. 120 and 130, the Federal share is 90%.

Eligible activities

The FAST Act continues the overarching requirement that HSIP funds be used for safety projects that are consistent with the State’s strategic highway safety plan (SHSP) and that correct or improve a hazardous road location or feature or address a highway safety problem. Under MAP-21, the HSIP statute listed a range of eligible HSIP projects. However, the list was non-exhaustive, and a State could use HSIP funds on any safety project (infrastructure-related or non-infrastructure) that met the overarching requirement. In contrast, the FAST Act limits HSIP eligibility to only those listed in statute—most of which are infrastructure-safety related.

In addition to this change, the FAST Act specifically identifies the following activities on the inclusions list:

The FAST Act continues the prohibition on the use of HSIP funds for the purchase, operation, or maintenance of an automated traffic enforcement system (except in a school zone). [FAST Act § 1401]

Workforce development, training, and education activities remain an eligible use of HSIP funds. [23 U.S.C. 504(e)]

Program features

The primary features of the current HSIP are retained, including the requirement for a comprehensive, data-driven, SHSP that defines State safety goals and describes a program of strategies to improve safety. To obligate HSIP funds, a State must develop, implement and update a SHSP, produce a program of projects or strategies to reduce identified safety problems, and evaluate the SHSP on a regular basis.

The SHSP remains a statewide coordinated plan developed in cooperation with a broad range of multidisciplinary stakeholders. 

States are required to have a safety data system to perform problem identification and countermeasure analysis on all public roads, adopt strategic and performance-based goals, advance data collection, analysis, and integration capabilities, determine priorities for the correction of identified safety problems, and establish evaluation procedures.

Data collection on unpaved public roads

MAP-21 required DOT to establish a subset of the model inventory of roadway elements (MIRE) that are useful for the inventory of roadway safety, and to ensure that States adopted and used the subset to improve data collection. The FAST Act—

February 2016

Page last modified on February 8, 2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000