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Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)

Fact Sheets on Highway Provisions


Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Authorization* $0 $1,236 M $1,256 M $1,276 M $1,296 M
*Authorizations shown here will be augmented by a portion of the Equity Bonus Program funds.

In 2005, safety programs are funded from a setaside from the Surface Transportation Program (see separate fact sheet)

Program Purpose

The program authorizes a new core Federal-aid funding program beginning in FY 2006 to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.

Statutory References

SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 1101(a)(6), 1401


Before apportioning HSIP funds, $220M is setaside for the Railway-Highway Crossing program under 23 USC 130 (see separate fact sheet on this program). The remainder is apportioned to States based on the following factors:

  • 33-1/3% based on lane miles of Federal-aid highways
  • 33-1/3% based on vehicle miles traveled on lanes on Federal-aid highways
  • 33-1/3% based number of fatalities on the Federal-aid system

Each State will receive at least ½ of 1 percent of the funds apportioned for the HSIP.

High risk rural roads

Each State's apportionment of HSIP funds is subject to a setaside for construction and operational improvements on high-risk rural roads. High-risk rural roads are roadways functionally classified as rural major or minor collectors or rural local roads with a fatal and incapacitating injury crash rate above the statewide average for those functional classes of roadways; or likely to experience an increase in traffic volume that leads to a crash rate in excess of the average Statewide rate. The setaside will total $90M nationally and be applied proportionally to the States' HSIP apportionments. If a State certifies that it has met all its needs relating to construction and operational improvements on high-risk rural roads, it may use those funds for any safety improvement project eligible under the HSIP

Eligible Use of Funds

Starting in FY 2006, States with Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) that meet the requirements of 23 USC 148 may obligate HSIP funds for all the purposes listed in section 148. Funds may be used for projects on any public road or publicly owned bicycle and pedestrian pathway or trail. Each State must have an SHSP to be eligible to use up to 10 percent of its HSIP funds for other safety projects under 23 USC (including education, enforcement and emergency medical services). It must also certify that it has met its railway-highway crossing and infrastructure safety needs.

States without an SHSP in FY 2006 or any year thereafter will receive safety apportionments that may be used only for projects eligible under 23 USC 130 and 152 (railway-highway crossings, and hazard elimination) as in effect prior to enactment of SAFETEA-LU.

Program Features

Strategic highway safety plan

By October 1, 2007, each State must have a strategic highway safety plan that identifies and analyzes safety problems and opportunities in order to use HSIP funds for new eligible activities under 23 USC 148. The plan is required to include a crash data system that can perform problem identification and countermeasure analysis

No strategic highway safety plan.

If a State does not have a plan in place by October 1, 2007, subsequent HSIP apportionments are frozen at the 2007 level and may only be used to fund projects eligible under sections 130 and 152 (railway-highway crossings, and hazard elimination.) as in effect prior to enactment of SAFETEA-LU. States without SHSPs will be ineligible to use up to 10 percent of their HSIP funds for other safety projects under 23 USC.

Reporting requirements

As a condition of obligating HSIP funds, a State is required to submit an annual report to the Secretary describing at least 5 percent of locations with the most severe safety needs, and an assessment of remedies, costs, and other impediments to solving the problems at each location. The Secretary is required to make these reports available on the Department's website and through other means. In addition to this report, a State is also required to submit a report, according to the schedule and content established by the Secretary, describing progress on safety improvement projects, their effectiveness, and their contribution to reducing roadway related fatalities, injuries, and crashes as well as railway-highway crossing crashes.

Federal Share

The Federal share is 90 percent, except that the Federal share is 100% for certain safety improvements listed in 23 USC 120(c).

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