State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) administer a variety of grant programs that are authorized and funded through federal legislation.
Highway Safety Programs
The Highway Safety Act of 1966 authorized the first federal highway safety program — the State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program (or Section 402). Since then, Congress has revised national highway safety grant programs many times through reauthorizing legislation, creating new incentive grants, penalties and sanctions.
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Behavioral Highway Safety Programs
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is the surface transportation bill that authorizes the federal surface transportation program including the highway safety programs for Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2022 through 2026. The IIJA authorizes $550 billion for highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology and statistics programs, and a range of other infrastructure initiatives.
The IIJA mad many changes to highway safety grant programs, including increasing overall funds for grant programs, increasing eligibility, expanding grant eligibility and adding two new Section 405 programs. The IIJA allows states to use NHTSA grant funding for automated enforcement in certain circumstances. The IIJA also restored the ability of state DOT Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds to be used for safety projects in other sections of Title 23, including behavioral programs.
This program provides grants to states to improve driver behavior and reduce deaths and injuries from motor vehicle-related crashes.
This provision encourages states to enact an open container law.
This provision encourages states to enact a repeat offender law.
This program provides grants to encourage states to maintain and allow public inspection of statistical information on the race and ethnicity of the driver for all motor vehicle stops made on all public roads except local or minor rural roads, as well as training and education to reduce the disparate impact of traffic stops.
This page includes subsections for the following:
- Impaired Driving
- Occupant Protection
- Traffic Records
- Motorcyclist Safety
- Distracted Driving
- Graduated Driver Licensing
- Nonmotorized Safety
- Preventing Roadside Crashes
- Driver and Officer Safety Education
FAST Act Behavioral Highway Safety Programs
The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) was the surface transportation bill that authorizes the federal surface transportation program including the highway safety programs for FFY 2016 - 2020. (The Federal Fiscal Year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.) It operated under special extensions until it was replaced by the IIJA in November 2021.
MAP-21 Behavioral Highway Safety Programs
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) was the surface transportation bill that authorized the federal surface transportation programs — including highway safety programs — for FFY 2013 and 2014. It operated under special extensions until it was replaced by the FAST Act in December 2015.
Highway Safety Funding
State highway safety programs are funded through federal appropriations. State laws can impact the amount and type of funding that states receive for different programs. The charts linked below summarize the amount of highway safety funding allocated to the states and territories from FFY 2016 - 2022. Amounts are broken down by program.
The FAST Act