Chapter 1: Highway Safety Improvement Program

Section 1: Overview

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The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) raised the stature of the highway safety program by establishing highway safety improvement as a core program tied to strategic safety planning and performance.

SAFETEA-LU established the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) as a core program, separately funded for the first time, with flexibility provided to allow states to target funds to their most critical safety needs. The HSIP requires states to develop and implement a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The purpose of the SHSP is to identify and analyze highway safety problems and opportunities, include projects or strategies to address them, and evaluate the accuracy of data and the priority of proposed improvements. The goal is to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.

The Texas SHSP identifies the serious crash types that the HSIP will focus on in order to meet the state’s goals and objectives of reducing fatal and serious injury crashes in Texas.

The passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) in 2012 reaffirmed commitment to the national safety program. MAP -21 strengthens the SHSP and establishes special rules for older drivers and pedestrians.

MAP-21 also establishes special rules for High Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) but removes the funding set aside for the HRRR program from the HSIP.

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Program Funding

The HSIP is federally funded. Program funds are eligible to cover 90 percent of project construction costs. The remaining 10 percent of project construction costs must be covered by state or local participation. Authorization to receive federal funds is found in Title 23, United States Code (23 U.S.C.), Section 148. The federal requirements outlining the HSIP structure are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 23, Section 924.7.

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Program Categories

The Texas HSIP includes a safety construction program known as the Hazard Elimination (HES) program.

The HES program focuses on construction and operational improvements for locations both on and off the state highway system.

The HES program is administered by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Traffic Operations Division (TRF) and is part of the TxDOT Unified Transportation Program (Category 8). TRF identifies potential highway safety project locations and works with the districts to develop projects as funds are available. Questions regarding the HSIP should be addressed to the TRF, Traffic Engineering (TE) Section.

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Eligible Work Types

Projects funded in the HSIP will be limited to improvements that address the serious crash types identified in the most current Texas SHSP.

There are also some items of work that may address a serious crash type, but that are not eligible for HSIP funding. Some types of work ineligible for HSIP funding are:

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Confidentiality of Data

Federal statute 23 USC 409 makes data and reports confidential if they are compiled for the purpose of evaluating the safety of federal-aid highways. Data used in the HSIP should not be released. Any written request must be routed through the TxDOT Office of General Counsel (OGC).

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