Section 402 Legislation
Highway Safety Act of 1966
23 USC Chapter 4
As Amended by SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008
Revision June 2008
§ 402. Highway safety programs
(a) Each State shall have a highway safety program approved by the Secretary, designed to reduce traffic accidents and deaths, injuries, and property damage resulting therefrom. Such programs shall be in accordance with uniform guidelines promulgated by the Secretary. Such uniform guidelines shall be expressed in terms of performance criteria. In addition, such uniform guidelines shall include programs (1) to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from motor vehicles being driven in excess of posted speed limits, (2) to encourage the proper use of occupant protection devices (including the use of safety belts and child restraint systems) by occupants of motor vehicles, (3) to reduce deaths and injuries resulting from persons driving motor vehicles while impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance, (4) to prevent accidents and reduce deaths and injuries resulting from accidents involving motor vehicles and motorcycles, (5) to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from accidents involving school buses, and (6) to reduce accidents resulting from unsafe driving behavior (including aggressive or fatigued driving and distracted driving arising from the use of electronic devices in vehicles) (7) to improve law enforcement services in motor vehicle accident prevention, traffic supervision, and post-accident procedures. The Secretary shall establish a highway safety program for the collection and reporting of data on traffic-related deaths and injuries by the States. Under such program, the States shall collect and report such data as the Secretary may require. The purposes of the program are to ensure national uniform data on such deaths and injuries and to allow the Secretary to make determinations for use in developing programs to reduce such deaths and injuries and making recommendations to Congress concerning legislation necessary to implement such programs. The program shall provide for annual reports to the Secretary on the efforts being made by the States in reducing deaths and injuries occurring at highway construction sites and the effectiveness and results of such efforts. The Secretary shall establish minimum reporting criteria for the program. Such criteria shall include, but not be limited to, criteria on deaths and injuries resulting from police pursuits, school bus accidents, aggressive driving, fatigued driving, distracted driving, and speeding, on traffic-related deaths and injuries at highway construction sites and on the configuration of commercial motor vehicles involved in motor vehicle accidents. Such uniform guidelines shall be promulgated by the Secretary so as to improve driver performance (including, but not limited to, driver education, driver testing to determine proficiency to operate motor vehicles, driver examinations (both physical and mental) and driver licensing) and to improve pedestrian performance and bicycle safety. In addition such uniform guidelines shall include, but not be limited to, provisions for an effective record system of accidents (including injuries and deaths resulting therefrom), accident investigations to determine the probable causes of accidents, injuries, and deaths, vehicle registration, operation, and inspection, highway design and maintenance (including lighting, markings, and surface treatment), traffic control, vehicle codes and laws, surveillance of traffic for detection and correction of high or potentially high accident locations, enforcement of light transmission standards of window glazing for passenger motor vehicles and light trucks as necessary to improve highway safety, and emergency services. Such guidelines as are applicable to State highway safety programs shall, to the extent determined appropriate by the Secretary, be applicable to federally administered areas where a Federal department or agency controls the highways or supervises traffic operations.
(b) Administration of State programs.--
(1) Administrative requirements.--The Secretary may not approve a State highway safety program under this section which does not--
(A) provide that the Governor of the State shall be responsible for the administration of the program through a State highway safety agency which shall have adequate powers and be suitably equipped and organized to carry out, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, such program;
(B) authorize political subdivisions of the State to carry out local highway safety programs within their jurisdictions as a part of the State highway safety program if such local highway safety programs are approved by the Governor and are in accordance with the minimum standards established by the Secretary under this section;
(C) except as provided in paragraph (3), provide that at least 40 percent of all Federal funds apportioned under this section to the State for any fiscal year will be expended by the political subdivisions of the State, including Indian tribal governments, in carrying out local highway safety programs authorized in accordance with subparagraph (B);
(D) provide adequate and reasonable access for the safe and convenient movement of individuals with disabilities, including those in wheelchairs, across curbs constructed or replaced on or after July 1, 1976, at all pedestrian cross-walks throughout the State; and
(E) provide satisfactory assurances that the State will implement activities in support of national highway safety goals to reduce motor vehicle related fatalities that also reflect the primary data-related crash factors within a State as identified by the State highway safety planning process, including--
(i) national law enforcement mobilizations;
(ii) sustained enforcement of statutes addressing impaired driving, occupant protection, and driving in excess of posted speed limits;
(iii) an annual statewide safety belt use survey in accordance with criteria established by the Secretary for the measurement of State safety belt use rates to ensure that the measurements are accurate and representative; and
(iv) development of statewide data systems to provide timely and effective data analysis to support allocation of highway safety resources.
(2) Waiver.--The Secretary may waive the requirement of paragraph (1)(C), in whole or in part, for a fiscal year for any State whenever the Secretary determines that there is an insufficient number of local highway safety programs to justify the expenditure in the State of such percentage of Federal funds during the fiscal year.
(3) Use of technology for traffic enforcement.--The Secretary may encourage States to use technologically advanced traffic enforcement devices (including the use of automatic speed detection devices such as photo-radar) by law enforcement officers.
(c) Funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section shall be used to aid the States to conduct the highway safety programs approved in accordance with subsection (a), including development and implementation of manpower training programs, and of demonstration programs that the Secretary determines will contribute directly to the reduction of accidents, and deaths and injuries resulting therefrom. Such funds shall be apportioned 75 per centum in the ratio which the population of each State bears to the total population of all the States, as shown by the latest available Federal census, and 25 per centum in the ratio which the public road mileage in each State bears to the total public road mileage in all States. For the purposes of this subsection, a "public road" means any road under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority and open to public travel. Public road mileage as used in this subsection shall be determined as of the end of the calendar year preceding the year in which the funds are apportioned and shall be certified to by the Governor of the State and subject to approval by the Secretary. The annual apportionment to each State shall not be less than three-quarters of 1 percent of the total apportionment, except that the apportionment to the Secretary of the Interior shall not be less than 2 percent of the total apportionment and the apportionments to the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands shall not be less than one-quarter of 1 per centum of the total apportionment. The Secretary shall not apportion any funds under this subsection to any State which is not implementing a highway safety program approved by the Secretary in accordance with this section. For the purpose of the seventh sentence of this subsection, a highway safety program approved by the Secretary shall not include any requirement that a State implement such a program by adopting or enforcing any law, rule, or regulation based on a guideline promulgated by the Secretary under this section requiring any motorcycle operator eighteen years of age or older or passenger eighteen years of age or older to wear a safety helmet when operating or riding a motorcycle on the streets and highways of that State. Implementation of a highway safety program under this section shall not be construed to require the Secretary to require compliance with every uniform guideline, or with every element of every uniform guideline, in every State. Funds apportioned under this section to any State, that does not have a highway safety program approved by the Secretary or that is not implementing an approved program, shall be reduced by amounts equal to not less than 50 per centum of the amounts that would otherwise be apportioned to the State under this section, until such time as the Secretary approves such program or determines that the State is implementing an approved program, as appropriate. The Secretary shall consider the gravity of the State's failure to have or implement an approved program in determining the amount of the reduction. The Secretary shall promptly apportion to the State the funds withheld from its apportionment if he approves the State's highway safety program or determines that the State has begun implementing an approved program, as appropriate, prior to the end of the fiscal year for which the funds were withheld. If the Secretary determines that the State did not correct its failure within such period, the Secretary shall reapportion the withheld funds to the other States in accordance with the formula specified in this subsection not later than 30 days after such determination.
(d) All provisions of chapter 1 of this title that are applicable to National Highway System highway funds other than provisions relating to the apportionment formula and provisions limiting the expenditure of such funds to the Federal-aid systems, shall apply to the highway safety funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, except as determined by the Secretary to be inconsistent with this section, and except that the aggregate of all expenditures made during any fiscal year by a State and its political subdivisions (exclusive of Federal funds) for carrying out the State highway safety program (other than planning and administration) shall be available for the purpose of crediting such State during such fiscal year for the non-Federal share of the cost of any project under this section (other than one for planning or administration) without regard to whether such expenditures were actually made in connection with such project and except that, in the case of a local highway safety program carried out by an Indian tribe, if the Secretary is satisfied that an Indian tribe does not have sufficient funds available to meet the non-Federal share of the cost of such program, he may increase the Federal share of the cost there of payable under this Act to the extent necessary. In applying such provisions of chapter 1 in carrying out this section the term "State transportation department" as used in such provisions shall mean the Governor of a State for the purposes of this section.
(e) Uniform guidelines promulgated by the Secretary to carry out this section shall be developed in cooperation with the States, their political subdivisions, appropriate Federal departments and agencies, and such other public and private organizations as the Secretary deems appropriate.
(f) The Secretary may make arrangements with other Federal departments and agencies for assistance in the preparation of uniform guidelines for the highway safety programs contemplated by subsection (a) and in the administration of such programs. Such departments and agencies are directed to cooperate in such preparation and administration, on a reimbursable basis.
(g) Nothing in this section authorizes the appropriation or expenditure of funds for (1) highway construction, maintenance, or design (other than design of safety features of highways to be incorporated into guidelines) or (2) any purpose for which funds are authorized by section 403 of this title.
[(h) Repealed. Pub. L. 97-35, Title XI, § 1107(c), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 626]
(i) Application in Indian country.--
(1) Use of terms.--For the purpose of application of this section in Indian country, the terms "State" and "Governor of a State" include the Secretary of the Interior and the term "political subdivision of a State" includes an Indian tribe.
(2) Expenditures for local highway programs.--Notwithstanding subsection (b)(1)(C), 95 percent of the funds apportioned to the Secretary of the Interior under this section shall be expended by Indian tribes to carry out highway safety programs within their jurisdictions.
(3) Access for individuals with disabilities.--The requirements of subsection (b)(1)(D) shall be applicable to Indian tribes, except to those tribes with respect to which the Secretary determines that application of such provisions would not be practicable.
(4) Indian country defined.--In this subsection, the term "Indian country" means--
(A) all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent and including rights-of-way running through the reservation;
(B) all dependent Indian communities within the borders of the United States, whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory thereof and whether within or without the limits of a State; and
(C) all Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through such allotments.
(j) Rulemaking proceeding.--The Secretary may periodically conduct a rulemaking process to identify highway safety programs that are highly effective in reducing motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and deaths. Any such rulemaking shall take into account the major role of the States in implementing such programs. When a rule promulgated in accordance with this section takes effect, States shall consider these highly effective programs when developing their highway safety programs.
(k)(1) Subject to the provisions of this subsection, the Secretary shall make a grant to any State which includes, as part of its highway safety program under section 402 of this title, the use of a comprehensive computerized safety recordkeeping system designed to correlate data regarding traffic accidents, drivers, motor vehicles, and roadways. Any such grant may only be used by such State to establish and maintain a comprehensive computerized traffic safety recordkeeping system or to obtain and operate components to support highway safety priority programs identified by the Secretary under this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a report, list, schedule, or survey is prepared by or for a State or political subdivision thereof under this subsection, such report, list, schedule, or survey shall not be admitted as evidence or used in any suit or action for damages arising out of any matter mentioned in such report, list, schedule, or survey.
(2) No State may receive a grant under this subsection in more than two fiscal years.
(3) The amount of the grant to any State under this subsection for the first fiscal year such State is eligible for a grant under this subsection shall equal 10 per centum of the amount apportioned to such State for fiscal year 1985 under this section. The amount of a grant to any State under this subsection for the second fiscal year such State is eligible for a grant under this subsection shall equal 10 per centum of the amount apportioned to such State for fiscal year 1986 under this section.
(4) A State is eligible for a grant under this subsection if--
(A) it certifies to the Secretary that it has in operation a computerized traffic safety recordkeeping system and identifies proposed means of upgrading the system acceptable to the Secretary; or
(B) it provides to the Secretary a plan acceptable to the Secretary for establishing and maintaining a computerized traffic safety recordkeeping system.
(5) The Secretary, after making the deduction authorized by the second sentence of subsection (c) of this section for fiscal years 1985 and 1986, shall set aside 10 per centum of the remaining funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section for the purpose of making grants under this subsection. Funds set aside under this subsection shall remain available for the fiscal year authorized and for the succeeding fiscal year and any amounts remaining unexpended at the end of such period shall be apportioned in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section.
(l) Law enforcement vehicular pursuit training.--A State shall actively encourage all relevant law enforcement agencies in such State to follow the guidelines established for vehicular pursuits issued by the International Association of Chiefs of Police that are in effect on the date of enactment of this subsection or as revised and in effect after such date as determined by the Secretary.
(m) Consolidation of grant applications.--The Secretary shall establish an approval process by which a State may apply for all grants under this chapter for which a single application process with one annual deadline is appropriate. The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall establish a similar simplified process for applications for grants from Indian tribes under this chapter.