Section 405 National Priority Safety Program
History and Administration
Under prior federal highway safety authorization bills, Section 405 was known as the Occupant Protection Incentive Grant Program.
Under MAP-21, Section 405 was renamed the National Priority Safety Program, which combines the impaired driving, occupant protection, traffic records and motorcyclist safety programs authorized under SAFETEA-LU (with substantial changes to two of the four) and adds two new incentive programs – one for distracted driving and one for graduated driver licensing.
Requirements & Funding
Each program is authorized as a separate section or tier within Section 405, and each has its own eligibility criteria. States must satisfy the eligibility criteria of each tier in order to receive funding for that tier. States must submit their Section 405 applications on July 1 as part of the consolidated application process.
Section 405(b): Occupant Protection
16% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for occupant protection incentive grants. States have to satisfy a maintenance of effort requirement and provide a 20% matching share. There are two types of grants: high belt use (90%+) and low belt use (below 90%). High belt use states must participate in national mobilizations, have an active network of child restraint inspection stations and maintain a sufficient number of CPS technicians. Low belt use states have to satisfy these criteria plus three out of six more. High belt use states have more flexibility in the use of the incentive funds.
NOTE: This program replaces the Section 405 Occupant Protection Incentive Grants authorized under SAFETEA-LU.
Section 405(c): State Traffic Safety Information System Improvements
14.5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for traffic records incentive grants. States have to satisfy a maintenance of effort requirement and provide a 20% matching share. Eligible states have to have a Traffic Records Coordinating Committee, a designated traffic records coordinator, an assessment within the last five years and a traffic records strategic plan. States would also have to show quantifiable progress in improving their traffic records systems according to six specific measures.
NOTE: This program replaces the Section 408 State Traffic Safety Information System Improvement Grants authorized under SAFETEA-LU.
Section 405(d): Impaired Driving Countermeasures
52.5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for impaired driving incentive grants to reduce the risk of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two. There is a maintenance of effort requirement and states would have to provide a 20% matching share. All states receive funds under this tier. They are divided into low-, medium-, and high-range states based on the most recent three years of FARS data. Low-range states do not have to satisfy specific eligibility requirements. The requirements increase for the other two types of states. Low-range states have more flexibility in the use of funds than medium- or high-range states.
15% of this tier is earmarked for ignition interlock incentive funds. States that have an all-offender ignition interlock law will be eligible for these grants. Eligible states can use these funds for any purpose under 402.
NOTE: This program replaces the Section 410 Alcohol-Impaired Driving Countermeasure Incentive Grant authorized under SAFETEA-LU.
Section 405(e): Distracted Driving
8.5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for distracted driving incentive grants. States must enact and enforce a prohibition on texting as well as a ban of the use of all electronic devices for all drivers aged 18 and younger, plus additional requirements. In the first fiscal year, 25% of this tier is available to states that have a primary texting ban for all drivers that was enacted prior to July 6, 2012. Eligible states can use 50% of the funds for Section 402 purposes and 50% for distracted driving purposes. $5 million of these funds are earmarked for a national media campaign on distracted driving.
Section 405(f): Motorcyclist Safety
1.5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for motorcyclist safety incentive grants. A state must satisfy two out of six eligibility criteria in order to receive funds, and the use of funds is limited to motorcycle training and awareness programs.
NOTE: This program replaces the Section 2010 Motorcyclist Safety Grants authorized under SAFETEA-LU.
Section 405(g): State Graduated Driver Licensing Laws
5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for graduated driver licensing (GDL) incentive grants. States have to require a two-stage driver license and satisfy specific criteria for the learner’s and intermediate stages. In addition, MAP-21 gives the Secretary of Transportation the authority to add additional eligibility criteria. Eligible states can use 25% of the funds for GDL-related purposes and 75% for any purpose under Section 402.