The Federal Highway Safety Act of 1966 directed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation to jointly administer various highway safety projects. This federal grant program provides federal funds administered through the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) to eligible entities to be used in part for, but not limited to, traffic safety education, enforcement and engineering projects.

The GHSO is responsible for coordinating and managing the Section 402 Federal, State and Community Highway Safety Funds received on an annual basis from NHTSA. Funds are to be used for short-term highway safety support, with the intent that other sources of funding will sustain programs over the long term.

The federal grant program operates on a reimbursement basis.

The mission of the GHSO, which is consistent with that of the ODPS, is to save lives and reduce injuries on Ohio roads, through leadership and partnering efforts with others interested in traffic safety, utilizing the most innovative and efficient methods possible of managing state and federal resources.

In 2004, Ohio adopted the national goal of 1.0 fatality per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by 2008. Using 2002 as a baseline, Ohio's fatality rate was 1.31 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In 2002, there were 1,417 fatalities on Ohio's roads. In order to meet this aggressive national goal, Ohio’s fatalities must be reduced to 1,120—or 297 lives. Accomplishment of this goal will occur only if state agencies, and many statewide and local organizations, work collectively to achieve the desired results.

In the FFY 2005 grant proposal solicitation package, the 2008 goal was identified and followed by the statement, “By submitting a grant proposal, your agency, if awarded a grant agreement, is committing to this goal and agreeing to join a statewide partnership determined to reduce fatal motor vehicle crashes in Ohio.”

Competitive grants will be awarded to those traffic safety activities that will have the greatest impact against fatal crashes. Each grant must focus on one or more of these issues—impaired driving, restraint use, speeding, and/or engineering.
It is the responsibility of the proposing agency to show how its programming can impact local and state statistics which, in turn, will help achieve the state’s goals as outlined within this grant package. Since partnerships are critical to the long-term success of a project effort, applicants are encouraged to develop broad-based support and commitment by local officials and constituent groups toward addressing localized traffic safety concerns.

In addition, competitive grant proposals must also include an evaluation strategy designed to assess the impact of proposed activities on the selected priority area(s). Based on the identified and proposed strategies, each grant proposal must show how the effectiveness of the proposed effort will be measured.
This competitive grant process incorporates the solicitation of grant proposals for highway safety activities from state agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges, universities, hospitals, political subdivisions and other interested groups within selected Ohio counties and jurisdictions. This targeted approach ensures a statewide effort that will satisfy state-level highway safety goals, with a minimum of 40% of federal funds allocated to local jurisdictions. The GHSO currently provides 82% of federal funds to local jurisdictions.

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