History and Administration
Under the FAST Act, Section 405 is the National Priority Safety Program, which provides grant funding to address selected
national priorities for reducing highway deaths and injuries. Previously authorized under MAP-21, the FAST Act made no substantive changes to many of the grants (Occupant Protection, State Traffic Safety Improvements, Impaired Driving Countermeasures and Motorcyclist Safety). Limited changes were made to the Alcohol-Ignition Interlock Law, Distracted Driving and Graduated Driver Licensing Incentive grants. The FAST Act added two new grants, 24-7 Sobriety Program and Nonmotorized Safety.
Requirements and 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.
For exact dollar amounts, funding charts by fiscal year can be found on the Federal Grant Programs page under "Highway Safety Funding."
Section 405(b): Occupant Protection
13% 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 have an occupant protection plan, 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. Under the FAST Act, High belt use states now may use up to 100 percent of their funds for any purpose under Section 402.
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.
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 and may use up to 50% of the funds for any Section 402 purpose, in addition to qualifying by having an interlock program.
States with a compliant 24-7 sobriety program also qualify for funding .The State must have a law that requires all individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated to receive restricted driving privileges for at least 30 days, and must have a law or program that authorizes a statewide 24-7 sobriety program.
12% of this tier is earmarked for ignition interlock incentive funds. States that have an all-offender ignition interlock law, with certain limited exceptions allowed by the FAST Act, will be eligible for these grants. Eligible states can use these funds for any purpose under 402. States qualifying with a 24-7 program receive 3% of available funding States can qualify with both provisions and receive a total of 15% of available funding.
Section 405(e): Distracted Driving
8.5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for distracted driving incentive grants. The FAST Act amended the qualifications, revising the Comprehensive Distracted Driving grant to provide more flexibility and establishing a new Special Distracted Driving grant for two fiscal years for States that do not qualify for the Comprehensive grant. 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. Eligible states can use 50% of the funds for Section 402 purposes and 50% for distracted driving purposes. The FAST Act allows states with distracted driving data that conforms to the most recent MMUCC to use 75% of the funds for Section 402 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 only certain motorcycle training and awareness programs. The FAST Act amended the allocation of funds, provides flexibility in the use of funds and added a requirement that the Secretary update and provide model Share the Road language. States with the lowest 25% of motorcycle deaths per 10,000 registrations based on the most recent calendar year for which final FARS data are available are allowed to use 50% of their grant funds for any Section 402 purpose.
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. The FAST Act changed the age requirement to 18 (rather than younger than 21) and some other requirements are less prescriptive. Eligible states can use 25% of the funds for GDL-related purposes and 75% for any purpose under Section 402. If a state is in the lowest 25% of states for under-18 age drivers involved in fatal crashes per the total number of under-18 drivers in the state, the state may use 100% of the funds for any Section 402 purpose.
Section 405(h): Nonmotorized Safety
5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for nonmotorized safety incentive grants. States would have to provide a 20% matching share, the only incentive grant with a specified federal fund limit. States are eligible if the annual combined pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in the state exceed 15 percent of the total annual crash fatalities in the State using the most recently available final data from NHTSA’s FARS. Eligible states may use grant funds only for training law enforcement on state laws applicable to pedestrian and bicycle safety; enforcement mobilizations and campaigns designed to enforce those state laws, or, public education and awareness programs designed to inform motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists of those state laws.