23 U.S. Code § 148 - Highway safety improvement program
(a) Definitions.— In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) High risk rural road.— The term “high risk rural road” means any roadway functionally classified as a rural major or minor collector or a rural local road with significant safety risks, as defined by a State in accordance with an updated State strategic highway safety plan.
(2) Highway basemap.— The term “highway basemap” means a representation of all public roads that can be used to geolocate attribute data on a roadway.
(3) Highway safety improvement program.— The term “highway safety improvement program” means projects, activities, plans, and reports carried out under this section.
(4) Highway safety improvement project.—
(A) In general.— The term “highway safety improvement project” means strategies, activities, and projects on a public road that are consistent with a State strategic highway safety plan and—
(B) Inclusions.— The term “highway safety improvement project” includes, but is not limited to, a project for 1 or more of the following:
(ii) Pavement and shoulder widening (including addition of a passing lane to remedy an unsafe condition).
(iii) Installation of rumble strips or another warning device, if the rumble strips or other warning devices do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists and pedestrians, including persons with disabilities.
(iv) Installation of a skid-resistant surface at an intersection or other location with a high frequency of crashes.
(vi) Construction and improvement of a railway-highway grade crossing safety feature, including installation of protective devices.
(x) Installation, replacement, and other improvement of highway signage and pavement markings, or a project to maintain minimum levels of retroreflectivity, that addresses a highway safety problem consistent with a State strategic highway safety plan.
(xii) Installation of a traffic control or other warning device at a location with high crash potential.
(xv) Planning integrated interoperable emergency communications equipment, operational activities, or traffic enforcement activities (including police assistance) relating to work zone safety.
(xvi) Installation of guardrails, barriers (including barriers between construction work zones and traffic lanes for the safety of road users and workers), and crash attenuators.
(xvii) The addition or retrofitting of structures or other measures to eliminate or reduce crashes involving vehicles and wildlife.
(xviii) Installation of yellow-green signs and signals at pedestrian and bicycle crossings and in school zones.
(xxii) Roadway safety infrastructure improvements consistent with the recommendations included in the publication of the Federal Highway Administration entitled “Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians” (FHWA–RD–01–103), dated May 2001 or as subsequently revised and updated.
(5) Model inventory of roadway elements.— The term “model inventory of roadway elements” means the listing and standardized coding by the Federal Highway Administration of roadway and traffic data elements critical to safety management, analysis, and decisionmaking.
(6) Project to maintain minimum levels of retroreflectivity.— The term “project to maintain minimum levels of retroreflectivity” means a project that is designed to maintain a highway sign or pavement marking retroreflectivity at or above the minimum levels prescribed in Federal or State regulations.
(7) Road safety audit.— The term “road safety audit” means a formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent multidisciplinary audit team.
(8) Road users.— The term “road user” means a motorist, passenger, public transportation operator or user, truck driver, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or pedestrian, including a person with disabilities.
(9) Safety data.—
(10) Safety project under any other section.—
(A) In general.— The term “safety project under any other section” means a project carried out for the purpose of safety under any other section of this title.
(B) Inclusion.— The term “safety project under any other section” includes—
(i) a project consistent with the State strategic highway safety plan that promotes the awareness of the public and educates the public concerning highway safety matters (including motorcycle safety);
(11) State highway safety improvement program.— The term “State highway safety improvement program” means a program of highway safety improvement projects, activities, plans and reports carried out as part of the Statewide transportation improvement program under section 135 (g).
(12) State strategic highway safety plan.— The term “State strategic highway safety plan” means a comprehensive plan, based on safety data, developed by a State transportation department that—
(A) is developed after consultation with—
(ii) regional transportation planning organizations and metropolitan planning organizations, if any;
(vi) representatives conducting a motor carrier safety program under section 31102, 31106, or 31309 of title 49;
(C) addresses engineering, management, operation, education, enforcement, and emergency services elements (including integrated, interoperable emergency communications) of highway safety as key factors in evaluating highway projects;
(D) considers safety needs of, and high-fatality segments of, all public roads, including non-State-owned public roads and roads on tribal land;
(E) considers the results of State, regional, or local transportation and highway safety planning processes;
(1) In general.— To obligate funds apportioned under section 104 (b)(3) to carry out this section, a State shall have in effect a State highway safety improvement program under which the State—
(A) develops, implements, and updates a State strategic highway safety plan that identifies and analyzes highway safety problems and opportunities as provided in subsections (a)(12) and (d);
(2) Identification and analysis of highway safety problems and opportunities.— As part of the State highway safety improvement program, a State shall—
(A) have in place a safety data system with the ability to perform safety problem identification and countermeasure analysis—
(i) to improve the timeliness, accuracy, completeness, uniformity, integration, and accessibility of the safety data on all public roads, including non-State-owned public roads and roads on tribal land in the State;
(iii) to link State data systems, including traffic records, with other data systems within the State;
(iv) to improve the compatibility and interoperability of safety data with other State transportation-related data systems and the compatibility and interoperability of State safety data systems with data systems of other States and national data systems;
(v) to enhance the ability of the Secretary to observe and analyze national trends in crash occurrences, rates, outcomes, and circumstances; and
(B) based on the analysis required by subparagraph (A)—
(i) identify hazardous locations, sections, and elements (including roadside obstacles, railway-highway crossing needs, and unmarked or poorly marked roads) that constitute a danger to motorists (including motorcyclists), bicyclists, pedestrians, and other highway users;
(ii) using such criteria as the State determines to be appropriate, establish the relative severity of those locations, in terms of crashes (including crash rates), fatalities, serious injuries, traffic volume levels, and other relevant data;
(iii) identify the number of fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads by location in the State;
(iv) identify highway safety improvement projects on the basis of crash experience, crash potential, crash rate, or other data-supported means; and
(C) adopt strategic and performance-based goals that—
(i) address traffic safety, including behavioral and infrastructure problems and opportunities on all public roads;
(D) advance the capabilities of the State for safety data collection, analysis, and integration in a manner that—
(i) complements the State highway safety program under chapter 4 and the commercial vehicle safety plan under section 31102 of title 49;
(iii) identifies hazardous locations, sections, and elements on all public roads that constitute a danger to motorists (including motorcyclists), bicyclists, pedestrians, persons with disabilities, and other highway users;
(iv) includes a means of identifying the relative severity of hazardous locations described in clause (iii) in terms of crashes (including crash rate), serious injuries, fatalities, and traffic volume levels; and
(i) determine priorities for the correction of hazardous road locations, sections, and elements (including railway-highway crossing improvements), as identified through safety data analysis;
(i) establish an evaluation process to analyze and assess results achieved by highway safety improvement projects carried out in accordance with procedures and criteria established by this section; and
(d) Updates to Strategic Highway Safety Plans.—
(1) Establishment of requirements.—
(A) In general.— Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the MAP–21, the Secretary shall establish requirements for regularly recurring State updates of strategic highway safety plans.
(B) Contents of updated strategic highway safety plans.— In establishing requirements under this subsection, the Secretary shall ensure that States take into consideration, with respect to updated strategic highway safety plans—
(iii) the locations that do not have an empirical history of fatalities and serious injuries, but possess risk factors for potential crashes;
(v) motor vehicle crashes that include fatalities or serious injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists;
(2) Approval of updated strategic highway safety plans.—
(A) In general.— Each State shall—
(i) update the strategic highway safety plans of the State in accordance with the requirements established by the Secretary under this subsection; and
(B) Requirements for approval.— The Secretary shall not approve the process for an updated strategic highway safety plan unless—
(i) the updated strategic highway safety plan is consistent with the requirements of this subsection and subsection (a)(12); and
(3) Penalty for failure to have an approved updated strategic highway safety plan.— If a State does not have an updated strategic highway safety plan with a process approved by the Secretary by August 1 of the fiscal year beginning after the date of establishment of the requirements under paragraph (1), the State shall not be eligible to receive any additional limitation pursuant to the redistribution of the limitation on obligations for Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs that occurs after August 1 for each succeeding fiscal year until the fiscal year during which the plan is approved.
(e) Eligible Projects.—
(1) In general.— Funds apportioned to the State under section 104 (b)(3) may be obligated to carry out—
(A) any highway safety improvement project on any public road or publicly owned bicycle or pedestrian pathway or trail;
(2) Use of other funding for safety.—
(A) Effect of section.— Nothing in this section prohibits the use of funds made available under other provisions of this title for highway safety improvement projects.
(f) Data Improvement.—
(1) Definition of data improvement activities.— In this subsection, the following definitions apply:
(A) In general.— The term “data improvement activities” means a project or activity to further the capacity of a State to make more informed and effective safety infrastructure investment decisions.
(B) Inclusions.— The term “data improvement activities” includes a project or activity—
(ii) to collect safety data, including data identified as part of the model inventory for roadway elements, for creation of or use on a highway basemap of all public roads in a State;
(g) Special Rules.—
(1) High-risk rural road safety.— If the fatality rate on rural roads in a State increases over the most recent 2-year period for which data are available, that State shall be required to obligate in the next fiscal year for projects on high risk rural roads an amount equal to at least 200 percent of the amount of funds the State received for fiscal year 2009 for high risk rural roads under subsection (f) of this section, as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the MAP–21.
(2) Older drivers.— If traffic fatalities and serious injuries per capita for drivers and pedestrians over the age of 65 in a State increases during the most recent 2-year period for which data are available, that State shall be required to include, in the subsequent Strategic Highway Safety Plan of the State, strategies to address the increases in those rates, taking into account the recommendations included in the publication of the Federal Highway Administration entitled “Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians” (FHWA–RD–01–103), and dated May 2001, or as subsequently revised and updated.
(1) In general.— A State shall submit to the Secretary a report that—
(A) describes progress being made to implement highway safety improvement projects under this section;
(C) describes the extent to which the improvements funded under this section have contributed to reducing—
(i) the number and rate of fatalities on all public roads with, to the maximum extent practicable, a breakdown by functional classification and ownership in the State;
(ii) the number and rate of serious injuries on all public roads with, to the maximum extent practicable, a breakdown by functional classification and ownership in the State; and
(2) Contents; schedule.— The Secretary shall establish the content and schedule for the submission of the report under paragraph (1).
(3) Transparency.— The Secretary shall make strategic highway safety plans submitted under subsection (d) and reports submitted under this subsection available to the public through—
(4) Discovery and admission into evidence of certain reports, surveys, and information.— Notwithstanding any other provision of law, reports, surveys, schedules, lists, or data compiled or collected for any purpose relating to this section, shall not be subject to discovery or admitted into evidence in a Federal or State court proceeding or considered for other purposes in any action for damages arising from any occurrence at a location identified or addressed in the reports, surveys, schedules, lists, or other data.
(i) State Performance Targets.— If the Secretary determines that a State has not met or made significant progress toward meeting the performance targets of the State established under section 150 (d) by the date that is 2 years after the date of the establishment of the performance targets, the State shall—
(1) use obligation authority equal to the apportionment of the State for the prior year under section 104 (b)(3) only for highway safety improvement projects under this section until the Secretary determines that the State has met or made significant progress toward meeting the performance targets of the State; and
(2) submit annually to the Secretary, until the Secretary determines that the State has met or made significant progress toward meeting the performance targets of the State, an implementation plan that—
(B) identifies highway safety improvement projects on the basis of crash experience, crash potential, or other data-supported means;
(C) describes how highway safety improvement program funds will be allocated, including projects, activities, and strategies to be implemented;
(D) describes how the proposed projects, activities, and strategies funded under the State highway safety improvement program will allow the State to make progress toward achieving the safety performance targets of the State; and
Source(Added Pub. L. 93–87, title I, § 129(b),Aug. 13, 1973, 87 Stat. 265; amended Pub. L. 95–599, title I, §§ 125, 129 (d),Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2705, 2707; Pub. L. 109–59, title I, § 1401(a)(1),Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1219; Pub. L. 112–141, div. A, title I, § 1112(a),July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 450.)
References in Text
Section 1401 of the MAP–21, referred to in subsec. (a)(4)(B)(xxiii), is section 1401 ofPub. L. 112–141, which is set out as a note under section 137 of this title.
The date of enactment of the MAP–21, referred to in subsecs. (d)(1)(A) and (g)(1), is deemed to be Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a), (b) ofPub. L. 112–141, set out as Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment notes under section 101 of this title. Subsection (f) of this section, as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the MAP–21, means subsec. (f) of this section as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of Pub. L. 112–141, which amended this section generally.
2012—Pub. L. 112–141amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to highway safety improvement program and consisted of subsecs. (a) to (h).
2005—Pub. L. 109–59amended section catchline and text generally, substituting provisions relating to a highway safety improvement program for provisions relating to development of the Great River Road, a national scenic and recreational highway.
1978—Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 95–599, § 125(b), inserted provision authorizing charging of a fee in certain cases to cover operational costs.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 95–599, § 129(d), substituted “75 per centum” for “70 per centum”.
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 95–599, § 125(a), added subsec. (h).
Effective Date of 2012 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 112–141effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) ofPub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of this title.
Effective Date of 1978 Amendment
Amendment by section 129(d) ofPub. L. 95–599effective with respect to obligations incurred after Nov. 6, 1978, see section 129(h) ofPub. L. 95–599, set out as a note under section 120 of this title.
Study of High-risk Rural Roads Best Practices
“(A) In general.—The Secretary [of Transportation] shall conduct a study of the best practices for implementing cost-effective roadway safety infrastructure improvements on high-risk rural roads.
“(B) Methodology.—In carrying out the study, the Secretary shall—
“(i) conduct a thorough literature review;
“(ii) survey current practices of State departments of transportation; and
“(iii) survey current practices of local units of government, as appropriate.
“(C) Consultation.—In carrying out the study, the Secretary shall consult with—
“(i) State departments of transportation;
“(ii) county engineers and public works professionals;
“(iii) appropriate local officials; and
“(iv) appropriate private sector experts in the field of roadway safety infrastructure.
“(A) In general.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [see section 3(a), (b) ofPub. L. 112–141, set out as Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment notes under section 101 of this title], the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report on the results of the study.
“(B) Contents.—The report shall include—
“(i) a summary of cost-effective roadway safety infrastructure improvements;
“(ii) a summary of the latest research on the financial savings and reduction in fatalities and serious bodily injury crashes from the implementation of cost-effective roadway safety infrastructure improvements; and
“(iii) recommendations for State and local governments on best practice methods to install cost-effective roadway safety infrastructure on high-risk rural roads.
“(A) Development.—Based on the results of the study under paragraph (2), the Secretary, in consultation with the individuals and entities described in paragraph (1)(C), shall develop a best practices manual to support Federal, State, and local efforts to reduce fatalities and serious bodily injury crashes on high-risk rural roads through the use of cost-effective roadway safety infrastructure improvements.
“(B) Availability.—The manual shall be made available to State and local governments not later than 180 days after the date of submission of the report under paragraph (2).
“(C) Contents.—The manual shall include, at a minimum, a list of cost-effective roadway safety infrastructure improvements and best practices on the installation of cost-effective roadway safety infrastructure improvements on high-risk rural roads.
“(D) Use of manual.—Use of the manual shall be voluntary and the manual shall not establish any binding standards or legal duties on State or local governments, or any other person.”
Pub. L. 109–59, title I, § 1401(d), formerly § 1401(e),Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1227, renumbered § 1401(d) by Pub. L. 110–244, title I, § 101(s)(1),June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1577, provided for different methods of obligating funds to States for highway safety improvement programs both before and after the second fiscal year beginning Aug. 10, 2005.
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